MediaWorks 'concerned' about RBNZ press conference ban


MediaWorks says it's concerned and disappointed that the Reserve Bank has decided to exclude its journalists from media conferences, following the leak of the RBNZ's Official Cash Rate (OCR) announcement on March 10.

The RBNZ today sent out details of an upcoming media conference about the Bank's six-monthly Financial Stability Report. The invitation contained a note saying MediaWorks representatives would be excluded from such conferences "until further notice".

MediaWorks, which owns Newshub, says the decision is concerning.

"Whilst MediaWorks has unreservedly apologised and accepts full responsibility for the OCR announcement breach, we are concerned and disappointed by the decision to exclude us from Reserve Bank media conferences," the company says in a statement.

After the leak of the OCR, Deloitte's forensic unit carried out an investigation into what happened, finding that a Newshub journalist had sent information from the media lock-up to the Newshub office.

From there it was passed on by another person to a blogger, who told the RBNZ about the leak after the official announcement.

Last month the RBNZ said as a result of the leak, it would no longer hold media lock-ups. MediaWorks apologised for the leak and said it had carried out its own investigation.

"The leak was caused by a failure within News to follow proper process and changes have already been made as a result," Richard Sutherland, Acting Chief News Officer at MediaWorks said at the time.

But the company says although it's concerned about being banned from RBNZ media conferences, it will continue its financial coverage.

"MediaWorks is committed to fair and independent coverage of financial news that matters to our large audience across radio, online and television. The Reserve Bank's decision to exclude us from media conferences does not affect that commitment," the company's statement says.


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