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Silly old TVNZ

Friday, January 27th, 2012

This is why I don’t like doing TV. I gave TVNZ news an interview on the teapot saga yesterday, explaining my views as below that the risk is low for anyone who publishes the contents of the tape.
Their broadcast asserts as a fact that “we can’t broadcast what was said for legal reasons”. Later the […]

Teapot pours out

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Someone’s put the teapot tape online. That’s the conversation between the PM and ACT candidate John Banks that cameraman Bradley Ambrose said he inadvertently recorded, during the most covered cuppa in NZ history.
The media, and even many bloggers, seem hesitant about linking to it. I’m not.
Here’s why. Put aside the question of whether it was […]

Law Commission’s new media paper

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Law Commission has issued an issues paper on reform of news media and new media regulation. This isn’t a final report; they’re looking for feedback on their proposals.
I think it’s a thougthful and well-researched paper. It’s very much alive to the problems of online regulation and the importance of free speech and the media. […]

Hosking lays down the law

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

At the end of his interview about cuppagate on RNZ’s MediaWatch programme today, Mike Hosking tells us that
I think I have a pretty good appreciation of privacy law in this country.
If he means, he’s got a pretty good understanding of those laws, I think the rest of the interview demonstrates that he’s wrong.
Here’s how he […]

Dean reads the tea leaves

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Dean Knight has posted on cuppagate. He’s particularly interested in the declaration application. He explains the hurdles faced by the applicant (judicial reluctance to grant declarations when issues are still in dispute and where criminal proceedings can sort things out), and says he thinks the judge should grant one anyway (to protect the integrity of […]

Jumping the gun?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Does Saturday’s front-page DomPost story break the law on reporting possible suicides? I think it does.
The story reports that Timothy Parlane was “killed by a train” shortly after police were warned that he was “suicidal”.
The Coroner’s Act prevents the publication of any particular relating to the manner of death when there’s reasonable cause to believe […]

Ask and ye shall receive?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Next time you hear the media bleating about our restrictive suicide-reporting rules, consider this. The law allows the media to seek permission from the coroner to report the details of an apparent (or confirmed) suicide. Last night, I asked Chief Coroner Neil MacLean how often the media sought such permission. He said it was extremely […]

Killing the messenger

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

There’s much to ponder in James Hollings’ thoughtful opinion piece on suicide reporting in this week’s Sunday Star-Times. Why are NZ’s suicide statistics so high, though our reporting restrictions are so tight? How convincing is the social science research suggesting media reports can lead to copycat suicides? Is important reporting being headed off by the […]

What can Crown lawyers say to the media?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The Crown Law Office has put out a very sensible, but rather general, protocol containing guidance for prosecutors when dealing with media inquiries.
It doesn’t mention civil proceedings, but it does apply to the Crown Law Office itself, and the general principles at the beginning seem broad enough to cover civil cases too.
It makes no attempt […]

House of Lords supports dumping criminal libel

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

And about time. We’ve already got rid of it. Mind you, the Aussie state of Victoria, where I am right now, still recognises criminal libel - which includes defamation of dead people and defamation where’s there’s no publication to anyone but the person defamed - and the defences (except truth) aren’t clear. Who knew?
Looks like […]

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