“You are here as guests” – Speaker Mike Oquaye threatens Journalists on Parliamentary Reportage

Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, has threatened to withdraw en bloc the accreditation given to members of parliamentary press corps if journalists cover events outside the chamber during parliamentary sitting.

The speaker asserted that, pressmen given accreditation to be part of the parliamentary press corps are mandated to cover proceedings in the chamber first and foremost, before considering ‘extracurricular’ activities.

He condemned the behavior of the parliamentary press corps covering activities outside the chamber whilst parliament was in session. He described it as an abandonment of their core mandate.

He said members of the press corps have no authority “to abandon the permission given them to cover proceedings in this honorable House and go outside the chamber itself and do some other work other than coming to cover proceedings in this honorable house”.

The speaker told the journalists while presiding over proceedings on Tuesday that “you are here as a guests… and any such deviations will make you an unwelcome guest, and your welcome (accreditation) withdrawn”.

He advised the journalists to do their work within the parameters of the rule of the house and do “politics within the appropriate confines”.

The majority leader of Parliament, Osei-Kyei Mensa-Bonsu also chided the press corps for focusing on happenings outside the chamber whilst parliament was in session. He advised journalists to do their work well.

“If proceedings are going on in the chamber, and you are credited to cover the proceedings, you don’t leave the chamber at the beck and call of an individual member of parliament, to cover that member of parliament…I think you (journalists) should discharge your duties [as expected of you, to the state]”

The minority leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, mentioned that the parliamentary press corps should serve the institution of parliament not any individual member of parliament.

He however condemned the majority leader for trying to control what the media reports on, and attempting to sideline the minority from press coverage.

He argued on the floor of parliament that, the MPs (the minority in this regard) are elected representatives and are “entitled to the media, not just the parliamentary media”.

Source: Jonas Danquah || ghananewsonline.com.gh 

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