Parliament has broken our trust - PGA

2017-02-08 11:54
Soldiers rehearse before a previous State of the Nation Address. (File, Netwerk24)

Soldiers rehearse before a previous State of the Nation Address. (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The storm surrounding the "restriction" of media during the State of the Nation address has intensified after the Parliamentary Press Gallery Association (PGA), in conjunction with the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef), walked out of a meeting with Parliament officials on Wednesday.

The PGA has called for Parliament to retract a statement issued on Wednesday, which detailed an outcome of a meeting with members of the media held on Tuesday.

PGA's Paul Vecchiatto said the statement was misleading and there had been no discussion about it prior to it being issued.

Negotiations between PGA, Parliament and Sanef were still ongoing, he said, and the statement was issued prematurely and without their knowledge.

"Our concerns remain that journalists working in Parliament on that day will have their movements restricted and their ability to cover all events will be restricted," he said.

He said during the meeting on Tuesday there had been no discussion about any statement being issued.

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'No joint team formed'

"By issuing a statement prematurely, Parliament has broken our trust. We are in discussions about the next move forward," he said.

In the statement Parliament said the meeting had agreed that indeed nothing had changed in the regulations and protocols governing the operations of the media.

"Parliament will provide in writing a detailed outline of media rights and responsibilities to guide how scores of the accredited media will perform and be assisted by parliamentary communication services [PCS].

"A liaison team of the PGA and PCS was established to provide a hotline between the media and Parliament, providing a first point of call to help nip any potential real or imaginary challenge in the bud," the institution said.

But the PGA on Wednesday was adamant that no joint liaison team had been formed.

Read more on:    sanef  |  pga  |  parliament 2017  |  sona 2017

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