A journalist who was blasted on Twitter for her 'rant' during a Zoom media conference with the NSW Deputy Premier has defended her comments, admitting it was a "silly mistake".
Coast Community News reporter Skaie Hull was in John Barilaro's daily regional Covid briefing on Tuesday, when she asked the deputy premier about reports that Covid patients from western Sydney were transferred to Gosford Hospital on Monday.
However, frustrated after not receiving a clear answer from the deputy premier — who also turned the camera off during her question — she vented out loud, not realising she hadn't pressed mute.
In the video from the interview — which has been shared online — Mr Barilaro briefly answered Ms Hull's question, before moving on to the next reporter.
“Same thing, ‘scaremongering freakin' rumours’," Ms Hull is heard saying, reportedly repeating Mr Barilaro's response to another reporter.
"He turned his camera off on me, so I’m p***ed off.
“He purposely did that. I caught him fiddling around, and he turned it off while replying to my question.”
A clip of the interaction was shared online
"I wasn’t planning on sharing this publicly but another regional journalist took it upon herself to share my little rant about Barilaro on Twitter yesterday - after I forgot to turn my microphone off post questions," she wrote in the post.
"Silly mistake but it’s started a little media frenzy."
— Samantha Costin (@samanthacostin) September 14, 2021
'Frustrated' about receiving no direct answers
Ms Hull continued saying she is a passionate journalist and was frustrated, feeling like she hadn't received proper answers to the questions in weeks.
"As many of you are aware I am very passionate about what I do and the Central Coast Community. I am not a rumour spreading journalist and I usually don’t share information until it is verified.
So I just got the background on what Skaie was asking Barilaro and it's all much clearer now. This vid is misleading as it makes it look like she's accusing him of "scare-mongering" but she's just repeating what his response was to someone else.
— Georgia Clark (@GeorgiaBClark) September 14, 2021
"However myself and other Central Coast journalists have had great difficulty in seeking even simple answers in prior weeks/months hence my frustration yesterday.
"It’s nothing personal with the Deputy Premier himself — I just want the correct information so I can share it with you guys.
"I will note there is a bigger back story to my question around the Covid patient transfer from Western Sydney to Gosford Hospital - which I will share once officially confirmed," she concluded the post.
Central Community News said they support Ms Hull and it was an "innocent mistake".
"We fully support Skaie and while an innocent mistake was made, we all gained an important insight into how good journalists work on behalf of their communities," they wrote in a Facebook comment under Ms Hull's post.
"They ask questions that others won't or can't ask to authorities that don't or won't release information."
Ms Hull posted to her Twitter account on Wednesday, saying it wasn't a personal attack on the deputy premier.
"I’ve done another interview with him today and he’s getting the answers from NSW Health for me," she wrote.
NSW recorded 1,259 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, 11 of them from the Central Coast local health district.
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