A petition urging the media in Parliament to receive better working conditions was submitted to the registry of the National Assembly by media representatives. It is addressed to the President of the National Assembly Rossen Jeliazkov.
The request is supported by 85 people reflecting the work of the MPs. For 3 months now, the parliament has been sitting in the former Party House, explaining that after the reconstruction it is more modern and the old building of the National Assembly needs urgent (and long-lasting) repair.
There was a similar petition in 2020 to the then head of parliament Tsveta Karayancheva, again a quota of GERB. Then more than 60 journalists asked again to have access to MPs - at that time the media were confined in a room on the ground floor and the conditions were extremely unfavorable for work.
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Journalists, however, are dissatisfied with the conditions - there are no comfortable separate spaces for work, and there is no good internet in some places, which is a serious problem.
There is no possibility for informal talks with MPs - the media have access only in front of the door to the plenary and in some common spaces, the latter, however, are massively avoided by MPs.
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Even going out to the courtyard of parliament is a complicated mission - during the winter season the doors are closed and opened only with an official (MP) card, which means cameramen and reporters to rely on the benevolence of MPs. The road through the parking lot is the shortest (and the only way for journalists) even to the cafeteria.
"With the closure of the sidelines of access, parliamentary journalism has been reduced only to recording statements in front of the hall and mediated communication with PR units, which makes not only the work meaningless, but also the principle of keeping sources of information secret," read part of the motives for the petition.
Photojournalists and cameramen are forced to make elaborate maneuvers and tours armed with heavy equipment to gain access to the shooting locations in the plenary.
After the summer parliamentary break, the media were welcomed at the Party House with signs "Controlled Access" - the warning applies to the corridors that lead to the offices of groups and MPs.
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The space allocated to the media is on the floor distance from the hall and there is no direct access to it - there are stairs and an elevator. Two large TVs show what is happening in the plenary, but the acoustics turned out to be a problem - if they are amplified - it interferes with journalists, and the sound reaches even the entrance, where press conferences should be given.
If there is a concert in the lobby, the music rings in the workspace officially set aside for journalists.
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