MPs close doors to media

Journalists protest closed standing committee meetings

On December 30, 2010, the Law on Procedure of Parliamentary Session was amended to exclude the attendance of journalists at Parliamentary standing committee and sub-standing committee meetings. The amendment in the law says that: “...only the composition of the working group, staff members of party and factions groups, staff members of the Office of Parliament and advisors and assistants to MPs who took part in working out an issue in discussion, can attend all open meetings, except for plenary meetings of Parliament.” It made parliamentary journalists unable to attend meetings of standing committees beginning January, 2011.
MPs who initiated this amendment called a press conference at which MP J. Sukhbaatar said, “A new clause was inserted in the law, saying “reports on meetings of Standing committees, sub-committees, factions and working groups may be given in a special room by a representative of the meeting”.
This clause does not violate the right  Federation expressed its support for the journalists protest. Acting President of MJF and director of MONTSAME News Agency T. Baasansuren said, “Our country forms a democratic society. A democratic society is an open society. Journalists’ organizations and journalists of the fourth governance have an important role to establish in this open society. MJF which comprises of over 3000 journalists is pleased for establishment of APJ last year. It is believed that establishment of journalism groups through sectors and professions will be helpful to strengthen the fourth governance and develop free press.
In connection with the clause included in the Law on Procedure of Parliamentary Session about restricting journalists to access information, APJ expressed its protest and addressed the President. MJF supports it. The fundamental profession that the President majored in is journalism; therefore, he may identify more with
problems of journalists. We believe he will veto the clause. MJF requests MPs reconsider this clause.”
source: 'The Mongol Messenger' newspaper



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