Editors Guild asks Parliament to restore unrestricted access to journalists

Editors Guild asks Parliament to restore unrestricted access to journalists
EGI Website

New Delhi, Feb 10: The Editors Guild of India has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar to grant unrestricted access of journalists to Parliament and lift curbs that came into force during the Covid pandemic.

In a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Guild also pointed out that access of senior journalists to Central Hall has been suspended and the Press Advisory Committee too has not been constituted for the last three years.

In a separate letter to Dhankhar, the Guild noted that limited access under Covid-19 protocols could be appreciated, but bringing back restrictions at a time when India remains in the forefront of maximum vaccination coverage remained unexplained.

It noted that journalists from print and electronic medium, have been given access to cover the proceedings of the Parliament since the first session in May 1952.

"Our request is to restore complete access to all accredited media persons immediately, including the Central Hall," the Guild said in the letter to Dhankhar.

The Guild apprised Birla that the Press Advisory Committee was founded in 1929 under the guidance of the President of the first elected Legislative Assembly, Vithalbhai Patel.

The Guild noted that G V Mavalankar, the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha, had decided that the Committee should, among other things, discharge advisory functions, including examination of temporary and permanent admissions to the press gallery and that applications for such admissions would be referred to the Committee for its opinion and advice.

"Since then, the process remained in place till it was abandoned recently," the Guild said.

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