Sunday, March 25, 2012

postheadericon New Zealand 'tea tape' verdict – a teachable moment in Journalism law and practice

A private conversation held in a public setting is still private and any journalist eaves-dropping or recording such a conversation is breaking the law
That's the conclusion from the New Zealand Police's ruling on the infamous "tea tape" saga which occurred on 11 November 2011 when a cameraman inadvertently recorded a private conversation between New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and politician John Banks at a cafe in Auckland. Before the media could publish the tape, Prime Minister John Key moved in quickly and filed a police complaint. The police then swooped on several media houses with search warrants and made it clear that any media publishing the contents of the tape was breaking the law. Dubbed the “tea tape”, the recording was posted online anonymously and has been available for several months.
The Police have however decided not to lay any charges against the cameraman. They said that although he had broken the law, he had shown remorse through a letter of regret he had written to Prime Minister John Key soon after the incident.

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this is Vincent Murwira's blog, part of his research site Skype: theopennewsroom Twitter: @theopennewsroom
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" In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the
right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that
it has." Mark Twain