Area in parliament where reporters may pose questions to MPs on camera further decreased

February 21, 2018

Area where reporters can legally pose questions to MPs reduced to the minimum
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Due to a strangely scheduled renovation, parliamentary reporters have been barred from one of the remaining two areas in Parliament where they could legally pose questions to MPs on camera until after the April 8 general election, reports

Since it came to power in 2010, the Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) coalition has turned corridors of the Parliament into somewhat of an obstacle course for those reporters who attempt to interview MPs on the go. In the past eight years, more and more corridors and areas of the building have been declared camera-free zones by Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér.

Because of the renovation of the Northern (or Blue) Parlor of the Parliament that will last until August, journalists have been pushed back to a roughly 10-meter corridor where they are still allowed to shoot video without being banned from the premises by Kövér. The only problem is that politicians, especially those from the governing Fidesz and KDNP parties, rarely ever walk through that corridor.

After a 2016 incident when Kövér banned reporters of from the Parliament, the news site recalled that during the first parliamentary cycle after the political system change, TV crews were granted access to all areas of the building including the Floor of the Parliament. In the next 20 years, consecutive governments made it harder and harder for TV crews and later video journalists to operate inside the building.

At first, video crews were banned from the Floor but were still allowed to record from the lodges. Then they were banned there but were still allowed to record on the neighboring corridors. During the time of the Hungarian Socialist Party-Alliance of Free Democrats (MSZP-SZDSZ) governments, 2002-2010, journalists were eventually banned from the corridors. Then Kövér banned video journalists from most areas, designating a few remote spots where reporters could still record legally. Now this area has been reduced to only a few meters.