Senate inquiry begins

A SENATE inquiry into the Federal Government's response to overseas kidnap victims began today with a NewsMail journalist providing a submission about communication with the media.

Nikki Sorbello was the chief of staff during the time former NewsMail photojournalist, Nigel Brennan was kidnapped and held captive in Somalia from August 2008 to November 2009.

Mrs Sorbello said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "no comment" policy and lack of co-operation was "not a professional, nor positive, experience."

"There just needs to be a mutual respect, the media is not the enemy," Ms Sorbello said.

"We need to have a trust between the two organisations so that the media can trust that DFAT will give us information that they have and trust us to use proper discretion to publish it or to not publish it."

The Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also provided evidence during the first day of the inquiry with Nigel Brennan and his sister Nicole Bonney to give evidence before the committee hearing next Tuesday.



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