TVNZ issuing gag orders

TVNZ_buildingI noted on Sunday that one of the papers highlighted TVNZ’s warnings to staff to stay silent and not speak up about the state broadcasters recent issues around conflicts of interest and the manufacturing of stories from their newsroom.

State broadcaster TVNZ has attempted to push the mute button on staff – with a media ban and fears of dismissal for those who speak out.

The company media policy was the focus of two meetings last month.

Staff were warned before and after a leak to the New Zealand Herald revealing abusive messages read out on air by Peter Williams and Dean Butler of TVNZ were actually made up.

The matter was raised again this week after Williams spoke to the Herald about the fall-out from the incident.

TVNZ confirmed staff had already been warned and the matter was raised again in a newsroom staff meeting this week.

What is interesting is comments by Head of News and Current Affairs, John Gillespie:

“We have clear protocols about who is and who isn’t okay to talk to the media,” he said.

“I’m not a fan of gossips and I take an extremely dim view of disloyalty.”

Numerous people are suggesting that Peter Williams was set up.  If it eventuates that this was in fact true, the term “disloyalty” may very well come back to haunt him.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Ann Onymous

    TVNZ say one thing and do another. They were responsible for that dreadful article in Woman’s Day about Mike and Toni – gushing about how she spends so much time at his house with her husband and child now – blah blah blah, and then a small box on one of the pages with Jessie’s comments. So they don’t like gossip, yet arrange for an article like that to be published, where people might get the wrong idea and tune in to see what “magical chemistry” Mike and Toni have? Pass me a bucket …

    There’s no proof that Peter actually spoke to the Herald about how he’s feeling – just because “he said …” – that doesn’t mean he said it to them; he could have said it to someone else, who passed it on. There is definitely a worm in the newsroom who tells the Herald everything that’s happening, because it’s been going on for a while. I don’t think the head of news’ pep talk to the staff is going to stop that from occurring. The only reason Gillespie doesn’t like gossip is because everyone else is finding out what clowns the management are in that place – Ali finding out she was going to be dumped from Seven Sharp via a gossip columnist is pretty serious stuff. And poor old Nadine finding out she wasn’t the preferred candidate for the Breakfast job via same way? Not on.

    At the end of that Herald article, didn’t they say that there was an outpouring of applause after Gillespie had made his speech (or something to that effect)? He sounds like a complete narcissist to me. Do they have photos of him all over the walls and have to bow to them upon entering and leaving the office too?

    • In the Know

      Word on the street is they are definitely trying to chop a few heads off over there. The whole thing reeks of what Eddie McGuire did to Jessica Rowe a few years back.