The Herald Reports:
The Reserve Bank has banned MediaWorks from its media conferences until further notice as punishment for its journalists leaking sensitive market information from the Official Cash Rate cut decision in March.The bank hired Deloitte’s forensic unit to investigate the leak after details were posted by a blogger. That investigation found that a Newshub Mediaworks reporter secretly sent details of the decision to workers in the Newshub office from the RBNZ lockup, where journalists had long been allowed to view the monetary policy statement under embargo provided they surrendered their phones and honoured the arrangement.Staffers in the Auckland newsroom openly discussed the embargoed decision and informed a blogger and former Reserve Bank official, Michael Reddell, that a cut was soon to be announced.
I say: MediaWorks has steadfastly refused to talk about the Reserve Bank lock up Cock Up. But the story has not gone away. The report talks about workers, but I understand senior news staff received the leak. I spoke to a Bank spokesman at the time the Bank stopped lockups, and it was unhappy about the way it was dealt with. The Bank had not been given the names of all four staff who been involved.
A source said that, behind the scenes, the Bank believes one of the parties was an on air, who I believe was not involved. During my inquiries the bank declined to name the lock-up leaker saying it was unfair to focus on one person when others were involved. There had been suggestions the person had left Newshub or another job. But that may have changed because the person I believe was the actual leaker recently appeared on another Newshub story. For legal reasons I am not able to name individuals. MediaWorks has consistently refused to discuss what steps, if any, have been taken to change its processes. In my opinion, MediaWorks needs to be more transparent. That is what it would demand if a financial organisation was involved in a leak like this. It needs to face up to a major problem that undermines an otherwise reputable news service. It undermines the media overall and raises the question whether there have been leaks from other lock-ups such as those for the Budget. Treasury looked at halting the 2016 Budget lock-up because of the RBNZ problems, but did not.