New Delhi, Jul 10 : The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday called the Finance Ministry decision to restrict journalists entry in the North Block as ‘gag’ and urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to withdraw it.
The Guild said it has no dispute with the Ministry that journalists should behave with restraint and responsibility enjoying their access to the Finance Ministry.
“But a blanket order is not the answer. Journalists do not go to government offices to enjoy the comforts and hospitality of visitors’ rooms designated for them. They go to perform their challenging job of news gathering.
“This order is a gag on media freedom and can even result in a further fall in India global press freedom rankings, especially as the contagion can easily spread to other ministries as well,” a statement said here.
The Guild added that if the Finance Minister believed that journalists’ access to government offices was causing some inconvenience, the system could be improved in discussion with journalists.
The Guild urges the Finance Minister to reconsider her decision and withdraw it.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Government has issued a notice stating that the journalists would now require prior appointment of the officials in the Ministry. (UNI)