Journalists in Karnataka will now be prohibited from entering Legislators’ House. The speaker of the legislative assembly, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, has issued an order banning the entry of journalists.
The notification states that the time the legislators spend their after work is their private time. According to the notification, visits by journalists would amount to invasion of privacy.
“Legislators’ House is a space for MLAs who come from their constituencies to Bengaluru during the Assembly session. The time they spend here is private. When journalists come to meet legislators here, it is an evasion of their privacy,” the notification issued by the Speaker reads.
If a legislator wants to interact with the media they can do so outside the premises of the house and make arrangements for the same.
“Arrangements will be made for journalists to speak to MLAs outside the gate. No journalist or camera person will be allowed inside the gate,” it adds.
The notification is said to have been released in response to a query seeking clarifications regarding the times at which the media could be permitted or prohibited from entering.
The speaker has previously banned the use of cameras by private news channels at the assembly. Just before the winter season, Kageri had banned private media channels from covering or transmitting the proceedings of the assembly live.
Only Doordarshan was permitted to cover the proceedings and any private channel that sought to broadcast it would have to take the feed from Doordarshan. Journalists without accreditation too had been banned by the Speaker from entering the house.
This media restriction had got the government a lot of flak with the opposition calling it an attempt to gag the media from showing its leaders, like a few who had been caught ‘watching porn’, in a bad light.
Journalists who wish to cover the proceedings could still do so but would have to enter without their mobile phones and cameras.