John Roughan has been forced to release recordings of his conversations with Prime Minister John Key as part of a court case relating to the “teapot tapes”.
Roughan had refused to surrender transcripts and recordings used for his biography John Key, Portrait of a Prime Minister. He was asked for the documents a year ago under the discovery process for a defamation case being taken against Mr Key by freelance photographer Bradley Ambrose.
The Privacy Commission told the columnist last week that his book did not meet the criteria for the Privacy Act exemption which allowed journalists to protect their sources.
Roughan is the third journalist to be captured by a High Court ruling last year which said a reporter’s research for a book did not qualify for protection under privacy rules.
It appears the Courts have pretty much eroded journalistic privilege. This may cause quite a chilling effect on people coming forward with information that they consider should be public if it means that the courts can order their identities to be revealed. Read more »