It’s official: media, especially print, now blacklisted by police

This is what happens when your organisation become a crim-hugging travesty.

Police officers are being stopped from taking media calls.

Southern district police commander Superintendent Mike Pannett made the order in a staff “advisory bulletin” on March 7, an Official Information Act request has revealed.

“If you are contacted by media, especially printed media, please do not make verbal comment on any matters over the phone,” Supt Pannett’s email said.

“Please simply ask that all questions are put in an email and then sent to you. You can give the undertaking that someone will reply to those questions in due course.”

There is nothing in the directive stopping officers at crime and incident scenes from making comment and there are still daily face-to-face media briefings on weekdays.

A national media centre opened in Wellington last month.  

Supt Pannett’s email said police were having “challenges” dealing with local media outlets, “in particular printed media”, who were calling individual staff members outside their normal working hours.

“While it is important we maintain a good working relationship with the local media, it is also important that we provide accurate, professional and well-researched answers to questions,” the email said.

When contacted for comment, Supt Pannett said, in an emailed statement, his staff were taking a “growing number” of media calls at home, late at night, and on issues they often knew nothing about.

The situation had improved since the national media centre began operating, he said.

“At this stage no further changes are envisaged.”

The media have become entitled, demanding more and more, but often when they are contacting Police it is likely to be a hit job on them on behalf of the crims they just love hugging so much.

The Media party has taken so many diabolical liberties it is little wonder Police are now managing responses.


-NZ Herald

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