Won’t withdraw ‘draconian’ media guidelines: Goa Speaker

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Panaji, April 5 (IANS) Citing security reasons, Goa Speaker Pramod Sawant on Thursday refused to withdraw guidelines for entry of journalists to the assembly premises — described as draconian by the Opposition and the media fraternity.

“Guidelines are needed, especially from a security point of view and streamlining entry. There is no question of withdrawing them.

“But some parts can be amended as per inputs from the press advisory committee,” Sawant said, adding that the guidelines were modelled after norms put in place in the Lok Sabha to streamline entry of media fraternity to Parliament.

The press advisory committee of the state Assembly includes senior journalists as well as assembly officials.

As per the new guidelines, correspondents of only those online portals with a daily page view count of 10,000 and an annual revenue of Rs 10 lakh would be allowed access to the state assembly to cover its proceedings.

It also mandates that correspondents of only those newspapers with a circulation of 15,000 copies and above would be allowed accreditation, with exceptions to be made at the discretion of the Speaker’s Office, while debarring representatives of news weeklies and monthlies from the accreditation process.

The Opposition, as well as the media fraternity in Goa, opposed the guidelines.

Sawant also said that the set of norms were in fact “draft guidelines”, but added the word draft was not included in the guidelines document out of error.

–IANS

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