The ruling BJP in the South MCD has drawn flak from the opposition for stopping a journalist, who runs a YouTube channel, from shooting the proceedings of the civic body on Friday. The incident prompted a fresh debate on regulations on YouTube channels and independent news websites.
Officials said Friday, Leader of the House Narender Chawla and councillor Poonam Bhati asked journalist Shrawani Mishra Bhupati, who runs a YouTube channel and independent news website Bajatey Raho, to not air house proceedings . Media organisations are usually invited by civic bodies for coverage and have been allowed to record and air visuals of proceedings in the past.
Opposition Congress and AAP called it unnecessary restriction on freedom of the press, and pointed out there is nothing to hide in a meeting where policy making for the city is done.
However, some leaders claimed several channels have cropped up in recent times which are not governed by any regulations, like the Press Council of India for mainstream channels, and some raise unfounded allegations. “We have no issue with the media. Our point is it should not pick and choose. If there are allegations, then counter views must also be aired. We will come up with a detailed policy on it soon,” said Chawla. Earlier, Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar had said there should be a regulatory body along the lines of the Press Council of India for news portals.
Bhupati said: “When there are regulations, we will definitely come under it. When we are just showing house proceedings that are open for thepress, what is there to hide?”
Municipal Secretary Bhagwan Singh said, “There is no resolution to relay proceedings like there is in Parliament. The Corporation Act is so old, it does not touch upon these things(media coverage rules through videos), but the media is invited for coverage.”
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