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Upset Karnataka Journalist Protest against speakers orders to ban coverage of assembly proceedings

“Private news channels can only take feed from Doordarshan for live coverage of Karnataka assembly proceedings as they do in the case of Parliament,” said the official.

Banglore: The Karnataka govt’s decision to gag media from covering the assembly proceedings has created an uproar in the industry colleagues. The scribes staged a protest outside Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru on Friday. Meanwhile, on Thursday Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said he will urge Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri to reconsider banning the private TV channel from covering the proceedings of Karnataka Assembly live.

According to the new rules, There are no restrictions on media persons from private news channels but they will not be allowed to shoot proceedings of the Karnataka Assembly anymore. The media houses cannot without permission directly air feed. On the contrary,  the output will now be shared by the Karnataka government with media houses similarly like to Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV.

Reporters will be allowed to sit in the press gallery to view the proceedings. Cameras of private channels, however, will not be allowed to shoot.

The disgruntled journalists went to meet the speaker. However, he left the chamber without listening to their grievances, sources said. Hence, the scribes decided to stage a protest against the Speaker.

Clarifying govt’s stand, Yediyurappa said, “BJP state government is always committed to freedom of media. I will make a sincere effort and request speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri to reconsider his decision on barring media from telecasting the house proceedings.”

The previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government had initiated a move to restrict media from entering the House. However, this was criticized by many people, including the BJP.

After the protest, JDS Chief HD Deve Gowda visited the protest and expressed solidarity with them.

Earlier also there was a  ban imposed in 2012 by the BJP government after its present Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi was caught on camera allegedly watching porn on his mobile phone during the session, forcing him to quit after vociferous protests by the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular members.

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