The headline is misleading. Proceedings of a board meeting of Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) was relayed live to the media on closed-circuit TV, presumably, for the first time in MUDA’s history. How could anyone object to such initiative for transparency ?
But some MUDA members, notably state legislators, were not enthusiastic about it . In fact, they opposed any access to media, as if what transpires among MUDA board members is state secret . Reasons they gave point to their mindset.
Some legislator members are quoted as saying, 1) MUDA board meets are comparable to in-camera meetings of the Karnataka cabinet.
2) Media presence would ‘disturb deliberations and decision-making ‘ process at MUDA meeting .
3) There is no provision in law that ‘mandates’ MUDA to hold an open meeting, in media presence’.
What they neglect to mention is there is nothing in the law that bans media access to MUDA meetings. If the press had been kept out for so long, it was for reasons best known to its board members. Despite objections, or rather because of the member’s reservations, MUDA chairman P Manivannan worked out an arrangement, by which local media can have access to proceedings of meetings without causing ‘disturbance’ by their physical presence at the MUDA boardroom. The boardroom proceedings were relayed through closed-circuit TV to reporters assembled elsewhere at MUDA office. However audio quality of telecast left much to be desired.
A local newspaper gave its own spin to this lapse, saying “it was not known if the audio was deliberately muffled or was due to a technical problem” . Unpredictable are the ways of our media.