Media boycotts proceedings

Media boycotts proceedings

Jammu: Reporters covering the assembly proceedings Tuesday boycotted the proceedings and held a sit-in protest outside after Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi directed them not to report anything on what legislator ‘Sheikh Rasheed said or did’ in the assembly.
“Don’t report anything about what MLA Rasheed said or did. I should not see anything about this in press,” Gurezi told the media in the assembly.
Seeking apology from the deputy speaker, senior journalists said that he had no such power to regulate the newsmen.
Finance and parliamentary affairs ministers came up to reporters asking them to resume their work in the house but the reporters expressed dissatisfaction at Gurezi’s diktat.
Later, parliamentary affairs minister accompanied by director information again pleaded with the reporters to return to the house assuring that such things won’t be repeated but the angry reporters remained unmoved.
A few reporters, however, walked in the press gallery and covered the proceedings.
Gurezi was seen nowhere and the last proceeding which included response of finance minister on his budget remained uncovered by most of media.
“We will resume our work as we are here for the same but we want a dignified return,” demanded a senior journalist. “Let deputy speaker come and say a few words of apology. We don’t want to set a bad precedence.”
Last week, Gurezi had rebuked media over use of mobile phones in the press gallery.
“Don’t use the mobile phones otherwise I won’t allow you with phones in the house,” Gurezi said on Friday.
However, later leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah asked the deputy speaker not to be so harsh on reporters covering the proceedings of the house as “Times have changed” for the media.