Steven Price

My book

Media Minefield


Guide to NZ Media Law

Official Information Act

Official Information Act


Bill of Rights Act

Media law resources

Feeds (RSS)

Archive for March, 2013

The NZ Herald’s weird response to the Law Commission

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The NZ Herald has editorialised about the Law Commission’s proposal to set up a new News Media Standards Authority.
It seems to veer between cautiously welcoming the report, and suggesting that the system ain’t broke. (No mention of the increasing absurdity of having different standards and complaints processes applying  to what is essentially identical material, or the […]

TVNZ’s weird response to the Law Commission

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Stuff is reporting that the NMSA is “not to broadcasters’ liking” and that “broadcasting agencies said dissolving the BSA would leave gaping holes for their non-news content.”
Odd. For one thing, Stuff only seems to have talked to one agency, TVNZ. The TVNZ spokeswoman said she was concerned that broadcasters like TVNZ, which show both news and […]

Labour’s weird response to the Law Commission

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

News Media Standards Authority: good idea! says Labour. Just make sure there are no political appointments:

Consistent ethical standards for all forms of media are necessary but politicians should be kept away from appointing complaints bodies and setting terms of reference, said Labour’s Broadcasting, Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran and Justice spokesperson Andrew Little.

Um, yeah. […]

One-stop-shop for media complaints - Law Commission

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The NZ Law Commission has recommended that we scrap the Press Council, Broadcasting Standards Authority and nascent Online Media Standards Authority, and replace them with one body setting and policing news standards across the board.
The Commission suggests we call it the “News Media Standards Authority” (NMSA). It would look more like the current Press Council […]

On purpose

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

If someone applies for a civil restraining order under our Harrassment Act, there is a defence of lawful purpose.
I’ve often wondered just how far this can be taken. It must surely be a lawful purpose to tell someone that you love them. But it’s hard to see that excusing a fellow who pursues this purpose […]

Leveson solution

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

If you’re interested in what the British politicians have drawn up to implement the Leveson report, you could do worse that take a gander at this summary.

Law Commission praised

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Last night, delivering the Robin Cooke memorial lecture, UK Court of Appeal judge Dame Mary Arden was full of praise of NZ’s Law Commission’s paper on media regulation. She noted that, unlike the Leveson inquiry, the Law Commission’s brief was to consider media regulation as a whole, not just focus on print media. The Commission’s […]

Unhealthy secrecy?

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

A hard call
Was the coroner right to suppress the names of the health care workers involved in the tragic death of Zachary Gravatt of menigicoccal disease in 2009? After all, he found the hospital was swamped with swine flu victims and Zachary’s symptoms were very similar. He was given considerable care and attention, and the […]

Defamation damages against anonymous Facebook troll(s)

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The High Court in Northern Ireland has awarded defamation damages against a defendant known only as “a person or persons adopting the pseudonyms Ann Driver and Alan Driver”.
“Ann” and “Alan Driver” had smeared the plaintiffs’ reputations on Facebook. The INFORRM blog suggests that his/her/their true identity was never established, and the judgment will only bite […]

In my opinion

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The UK’s Court of Appeal has once again overturned a High Court ruling that a publication was stating fact, not opinion.
The guidance that the courts give on this elusive distinction is so useless that it seems that often the only way to tell whether something is a statement of fact or opinion is to take […]