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. …
An advisory from the bank says representatives “from Mediaworks news outlets are excluded from Reserve Bank media conferences until further notice” as a result of the March 10 leak.
That is appropriate. The exclusion should not last forever, but there should be some consequences for their breach of the terms of the media lockup.
It would have been better for the Reserve Bank not to scrap the lock ups, but just exclude Mediaworks from them (as they have now done for media conferences).
It occurs to me that the best “punishment” for the serious breach by Mediaworks would have been for Treasury to exclude Mediaworks staff from the Budget lockup. Not attending a Reserve Bank media conference or lock up is a very very minor thing. But if you were excluded from the Budget lockup, you’d be massively disadvantaged as all the other media would have had two hours head start to write their stories. Excluding from one Budget lockup would be sufficient to get the message across about consequences.