Academic urges RNZ to resist state bullying for tea pot tape

Press Release – AUT University

Police demands that four media organisations hand over material relating to the so-called teapot tape smack of bullying by the state, says an Auckland journalism academic.Media release: November 17, 2011

For immediate release

Police demands that four media organisations hand over material relating to the so-called teapot tape smack of bullying by the state, says an Auckland journalism academic.

AUT University senior lecturer Greg Treadwell congratulated RNZ on its refusal to hand over material from an interview with the cameraman who recorded the conversation between Prime Minister John Key and Act’s Epsom candidate John Banks on Friday.

Other news organisations, including TVNZ, have also been told their premises will be searched in the police inquiry into the taping.

“It’s ironic that Mr Key is refusing to release a transcript of the tape – something many people believe he is obliged to do – while at the same time using the police to strong-arm information out of others.

“I applaud RNZ’s stance and urge it to resist this state bullying as long as it is able.”

The university’s acting curriculum leader for journalism said it was ridiculous to compare the tape with phone messages hacked by News of the World journalists, as Mr Key had done.

“I think the Prime Minister needs to review his position on this. I also think he should release a transcript of the tape as soon as possible in the interests of transparency during an election.

“The recording was made at a publicity stunt to which the media were invited.

“In such a situation, it is absurd to think you can maximise publicity for political purposes but maintain complete privacy over what you say at the same time.

“Frankly, if you are caught on tape at a media stunt, you have been caught on tape at a media stunt.

“Mr Key should withdraw his complaint to the police and get on with the campaign.”
ENDS

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