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Press Freedom: Senate bars TV stations from covering plenary

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ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja

BARELY 24 hours after the world marked Press Freedom Day, Senate on Thursday barred at least seven television stations from covering its proceedings in the chamber.

The decision was enforced by the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh before the commencement of plenary session.

The clerk hinged his decision on alleged unprofessional conduct of some cameramen in the chamber which the Senate Press Corps had attended to.

But the Senate Press Corps in a reaction to the development in a letter addressed to Senate Committee Chairman on Media and Publicity, Senator Abdulahi Sabi said that the Senate’s spokesman should‎ prevail on the Senate bureaucracy and Senate leadership to rescind the latest decision.

The statement read in part, “We have been repeatedly told that there is no parliament in the world where cameramen are allowed into the chamber. But we are also aware that such chambers, as mentioned, have functional central pool units where professional and experienced broadcast cameramen using latest television technologies such as Ultra High Definition cameras operate to deliver quality feeds.

“And until such equipments are installed with the requisite broadcast professionals to man them, we plead for a stay of execution. We hereby appeal to you, to use your good office to prevail on the Senate bureaucracy and indeed the Senate leadership to rescind on this latest decision at least in the spirit of World Press Freedom Day. In the mean time, we see the development as very unhealthy and a recipe for avoidable friction between the media as a professional body and the National Assembly. ”

 

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