In a to the Lok Sabha speaker, the Press Club of India and the Editors Guild of India have demanded that access to the central hall of Parliament must be restored for senior journalists.
“We believe that the media provides an important interface between the people and the Parliament…By reporting on the happenings in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha they make the government, our representatives more accountable and lend our democracy greater meaning,” PCI tweeted, asking the Lok Sabha speaker to take note of the issue.
was made in July this year, when the Press Association, Delhi Union of Journalists and Working News Cameramen’s Association, Press Club of India, Editors Guild, and others had written a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and urged him to restore full access to the central hall.
In the new request, PCI noted the intervention of the speaker in partially restoring the media's access to the House, but pointed out that it was limited citing the pandemic regulations. However, the letter stated that as cinema halls and other places have relaxed social distancing norms, the re-entry of journalists would be in line with the government’s vision to “normalise life”.
In July this year, how since March 2020 the media had been restricted from covering the proceedings in Parliament due to a spike in Covid cases at the time. While there has been a drop in the number of cases, the media’s access was never restored.
The letter, while appreciating the partial access, noted that the “bigger issue” of senior journalists having access to parliamentary proceedings in central hall still “remains unsolved”.