6 May 2016

Reserve Bank bans MediaWorks from press conferences

12:22 pm on 6 May 2016

The Reserve Bank has banned MediaWorks journalists from all its media conferences after one of the organisation's reporters leaked its official cash rate decision from the lockup in March.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has taken a hard line on the media breach. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The move means the media company, which owns TV3 and a host of radio stations, will not be able to send reporters to its six-monthly Financial Stability Report news conference next Wednesday.

The bank ended media lock ups, or pre-release briefings, for all journalists last month after an investigation showed a Newshub journalist leaked its interest rate decision in March ahead of schedule.

The reporter sent the decision from the lockup to others in the media group, who then contacted a former Reserve Bank official.

Reporters attend the lockups under the understanding that no information is to leave the room until a specified time.

In its media invitation for next week's Financial Stability Report sent out this morning, the Reserve Bank specifially excluded MediaWorks.

"Representatives from MediaWorks news outlets are excluded from Reserve Bank media conferences until further notice. This action follows a leak from the media lockup for the 10 March Monetary Policy Statement," the invitation said.

The ban caps off a rough week for the broadcaster. Leading newsreader Hilary Barry resigned late last week after more than two decades with the company, and chief executive Mark Weldon stepped down on Wednesday.

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