Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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National Assembly Restricts Journalists Access to Chambers

By Almamo Kamaso

Reporters from many media houses  were on Monday 14 September 2020, denied access to the National Assembly chambers for coverage in the third ordinary session of National Assembly.

When the director of Communication Gibriel Janneh was ask as why only three television stations: QTV, GRTs, and Eye Africa televisions were given access leaving  the rest which  included radios stations, online media and a sore of print newspapers journalist . The Director explained that the Assembly Chambers cannot accommodate all the journalists due to COVID-19; “we need to observe social distancing and there is no enough space” He explained it was no move to restrict journalists but a mitigation to contain and control COVID-19.

However Janneh said his office has made it possible for the rest of the journalists to access the proceeding on the National Assembly social platform. He further explained that his office is in the process of making their auditorium available to the rest of the journalist for coverage.

Asked if his office is not considering alternating the coverage of the Assembly proceedings from the three to others, Janneh said his office will look into that.

Talking to the angry journalists who could not have access to the chambers for coverage,  said the act of the Assembly officials is  discriminatory

In the Chambers of the Assembly Hon Halifa Sallah moved a motion without notice and demand that the Speaker takes a decision on the issues of journalists who are bared to provide coverage. The Honorable Speaker said it will not be fair for her to take an immediate action as a way of addressing the problem. He told the honorable members that her office must be given time to study the case before acting.

Many other editors both online and print also describe the act as discriminatory.

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