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Mykolaiv City Council adopts new rules on journalists' access to the building

20.06.2024, 17:01

The Mykolaiv City Council adopted new rules on journalists' access to the building. Now journalists can only enter the building upon invitation from officials, according to deputy mayor Vitaliy Lukov's reply to a request from the local newspaper "NikVesti".

The document published by the media outlet states that the access to the Mykolaiv City Council building is regulated by the Instruction approved by the mayor Oleksandr Senkovych on February 3, 2022.

According to the Instruction, media representatives can enter the building if they are included in the open event lists prepared by the organizational unit of the Department for Ensuring the Functioning of Executive Bodies of the Mykolaiv City Council.

Journalists will be admitted by one-time electronic passes upon showing documents confirming their identity and professional affiliation.

To get comments, interviews or discuss other issues, journalists are allowed to enter the building escorted by an official from the information support unit of the mayor's department, and they have to add their name in the visitor logbook.

"After the start of the full-scale war, the Mykolaiv government significantly limited its communication with the public; the media can not work at city council or deputy commission sessions or at executive committee meetings – all these take place online now. This makes the work of journalists significantly more difficult, as they essentially have no direct channels of dialogue with officials, and no one knows anything about the work of most deputies at all," said "NikVesti" chief editor Kateryna Sereda in her comment to IMI.

She noted that a few weeks ago, "NikVesti" journalists tried to enter the City Council to get comments from the officials after the weekly staff meeting with the mayor.

"We wanted to learn more about issues that interest the community, such as bomb shelter construction, liquidation of educational institutions, reconstruction of buildings damaged by shelling, etc. However, our correspondents were not allowed to enter the city council because, as it turned out later, there was an order to prevent journalists from entering the building without special permission," added Kateryna Sereda.

As reported by IMI, in 2021 the Pervomaysk City Council (Mykolaiv oblast) adopted a media accreditation procedure which involved introducing a special card-based system of accreditation. The cards would be issued upon consent from the mayor and the deputy commission on legality and regulations.

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