4th May, 2017
The Senate Press Corp has expressed concern over drastic reduction of television cameramen covering Senate proceedings by Senate bureaucracy.
The Chairman of the Senate Press Corps, Mr Cosmas Ekpunobi in a statement described the decision of the senate bureaucracy as unhealthy and an attempt to cause friction between the media and the National Assembly.
“The attention of Senate Press Corps leadership has been drawn to the decision of the Senate bureaucracy to further reduce the number of television news crews (cameramen) covering plenary from 13 to 6. The change came into operation today, precipitating the reported boycott of the cameramen of today senate proceedings.
“We want to reiterate here that the Senate Press Corp leadership will never condone any unprofessional conduct by any of our members.
”We accepted to call our erring members to order and get back to the Clerk of the Senate for further action.
”We expected the clerk to rescind his decision pending the outcome of our meeting with the cameramen today.
“We believe that this issue can still be resolved through dialogue as we are amenable to the consensual decision reached by all parties, ” he said.
He said newsmen in the senate had often been told that no parliament in the world allowed cameramen into the chamber.
The chairman said while such was true, those parliaments, however, had functional central pool units to deliver quality feeds.
“Until such equipment is installed with the requisite broadcast professionals to man them, we plead for a stay of execution, ” he said.
Ekpunobi urged the Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Abdullahi Sabi to intervene in the matter.