Editorial, Gadgets

Journalists must be free to report without intimidation.

On Wednesday, journalists covering the parliamentary proceedings on the National Security Bill walked out after security agents reportedly barred them from recording and taking photographs.

They faced unacceptable intimidation and obstruction from security agents while trying to carry out their duties.

The role of the media as the fourth estate is paramount in any functioning democracy. Journalists serve as the public’s watchdog, tasked with overseeing leaders and hold them accountable.

When they are prevented from freely reporting on the debates and discussions in the August House, it is a direct assault on transparency and the free flow of information.

According to the journalists, the security agents provided a justification that the “picture of the parliament remains the same” and there was no need for journalists to take pictures again.

This claim is indefensible and this shows a misunderstanding of the media’s purpose.

It is not merely about capturing visuals – it is about accurately documenting the proceedings, the arguments made, and the positions taken by representatives.

The chaos and division among lawmakers over the National Security Service Bill is itself a matter of grave public interest.

The contention surrounding articles 54 and 55, which grant security forces expansive powers of arrest, places interest on journalistic scrutiny.

Without the ability of the Media to report on such discussions, the public is left in the dark, unable to form educated opinions and hold their leaders accountable.

The walkout by journalists is a brave stand against the oppression of press freedoms. It is a call for the security agents to respect the role that the media plays in a democracy.

Moving forward, measures must be taken to ensure the safety and unimpeded access of journalists covering parliamentary debates, particularly on issues of national significance.

The public deserves to be informed. The journalists deserve to work without fear of intimidation. The authorities must heed this message and reaffirm their commitment to the free flow of information.


Comments are closed.