Muzzling media: Privilege motion against OTV after telecast of factual report

Bhubaneswar: Opposition party chief whip, Tara Prasad Bahinipati today brought a Breach of Privilege motion against OTV after the channel telecast a factual report yesterday on how the Speaker adjourned the House after being prompted by the secretary.

Following the motion, the Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat has directed the House secretary to issue notice to the channel on why ‘the permission granted to the company for its entry to the premises of the OLA and direct telecast of the proceedings of the House shall not be withdrawn.’

BJP state legislature party leader, KV Singh Deo said MLAs have the right to move Breach of Privilege Motion. “It would not be appropriate to comment anything on the matter, so let us see and not jump to any conclusion,” he said.

Responding to the development the channel clarified, “OTV is ready to face any show-cause given. The channel has not done anything unethical. If OTV covers something in Assembly, it is our responsibility to show it to the people because at the end of the day we work for the people and they have the right to know every aspect of the news.”

Meanwhile, senior journalists have criticised such attempts to throttle the voice of media.

The one who has brought the motion wants to make his intentions very clear that they want to threaten the media, senior journalist Rabi Das said.

Journalist Prasanna Mohanty said “At a time when discussions to allow more telecast rights to media for broadcasting Assembly and Parliament proceedings are underway, such a move to muzzle the media is setting a bad precedent.”

Yesterday OTV telecast a report on how the Parliamentary Affairs minister spoke to the secretary of the Assembly who then was seen and heard prompting the Speaker, who adjourned the house soon after.