Press Club of India Demands Unrestricted Media Entry in the new Parliament Building
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Ahead of the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28, the Press Club of India (PCI) has written a letter to Om Birla, Speaker of Lok Sabha, drawing his attention towards the "continuous and unrelenting restrictions imposed on the entry of journalists and reporters covering Parliamentary proceedings over the last several sessions."
The letter highlights how many journalists who have been covering the proceedings for the last several decades have been denied access despite having permanent press gallery passes.
These restrictions were first imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic during the budget session of 2022. However, even though the nationwide pandemic restrictions have since been eased, the same hasn't happened in the Parliament.
"As the restrictions on the entry of the journalists in Parliament is supported with no tangible reason or argument, we strongly feel that these curbs are part of a wider agenda aimed at controlling the media and restricting freedom of the press in order to impede the free flow of independent news stories and information to the people of the largest democracy of the world. We also demand the dysfunctional Lok Sabha Press Advisory Committee be reconstituted immediately."
The restrictions have continued despite several opposition leaders demanding their immediate withdrawal. Furthermore, the PCI highlighted that there has been an arbitrary and unjustified "implementation of a pick-and-choose policy for the entry of journalists on a lottery system or selective tactics."
The journalists' body termed this system "highly unfair, " undermining "the principles of fairness and equal access to information."
"We trust in your commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, freedom of the press and the right to information. The reinstatement of full access for media personnel within the Parliament premises is essential to preserve these values and promote a vibrant and informed citizenry and democracy," the letter stated.
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