Budget lockup, grumpy journalists

I don’t think I’ve seen journalists in Twitter so grumpy for so long, especially at some of their own.

A number of them were very annoyed with the news that someone from Mediaworks who were in a Reserve Bank lock up leaked details of an OCR announcement an hour early, and someone else from MediaWorks passed on the information to a blogger.

There was also annoyance with the MediaWorks response, with a distinct lack of contrition and an absence of obvious repercussions.

In the weekend long time ourno Rob Hosking slams MediaWorks over leak.

The grumping was still going on today, with Hamish Rutherforsd writing at Stuff MediaWorks must explain RBNZ leak

According to those who visited, Mark Weldon virtually celebrated the fact that there was no television in the Wellington apartment he lived in while he headed the NZX.

But heading the NZX, at a very minimum, would leave him well qualified to understand one area of modern media better than most: the integrity of market sensitive information.

Yet the company he now heads, Newshub owners MediaWorks, has not only committed a serious breach of trust, it is still to give any real account of what went wrong. It owes a better explanation of what exactly it gets up to.

No sign of an adequate explanation or action yet,

The lock-ups are extremely useful for the media organisations, especially when the interest rate decisions are accompanied with the quarterly monetary policy statements. These are essentially a novella of the Reserve Bank’s outlook for the economy, which generally contain complex messages. The Reserve Bank has admitted that misinterpretation of its intended message will increase without the lock-ups.

As a result of the leak, the Reserve Bank called an immediate end to the lock ups, not just for MediaWorks, but for the dozen or so organisations which attended every six weeks

That in particular annoyed journalists who value the lock ups. And they feelings continued today when the Treasury Secretary said the budget lock up next would be allowed but couldn’t be guaranteed to continue, subject to journalist responsibilities being met.

Hamish Rutherford@oneforthedr
Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf decides “on balance” to hold up embargoed lock-up for Budget

Fuuuuuuuu, problems with Reserve Bank embargo breaches has led to a “review” of the embargoed Budget briefing.

For now, Budget 2016 goes ahead. (THANK GOD.) But future Budgets, and which news orgs can attend, will “continue to be reviewed”.

Chris Bramwell@ChrisBramwell
@FrancesCook I had a minor panic when I saw the email arrive … PHEW
Frances Cook@FrancesCook

In other words, no more messing up. Hard stare at those involved in Reserve Bank mess.

So there is obviously still ill feeling in the ranks of journalists, left festering because MediaWorks failed to address the issue adequately.

They obviously value getting privileged information in advance.