8 Oct 2011

Parliament rules on filming 'should be reviewed'

10:08 am on 8 October 2011

The Media Freedom Committee is seeking a review of rules governing what can be filmed or photographed during Parliamentary sessions following a row over coverage of a protest.

Speaker Lockwood Smith suspended the accreditation of New Zealand Herald's journalists to Parliament because the paper published a photo on its website of a man attempting to leap from the public gallery into the debating chamber.

He later eased the ban, allowing Herald staff to use their press gallery offices though they would not have freedom to move about in other areas.

Standing Orders ban such images, to discourage protests, but Media Freedom Committee secretary Tim Pankhurst says the rules are very restrictive and could prevent legitimate coverage of news events.

He says the Standing Orders and the Speaker's discretion must allow for exceptional circumstances.