Saturday, November 20, 2010

‘It’s shameful to control media for political survival’

‘It’s shameful to control media for political survival’
By Ernest Chanda in Copenhagen, Denmark
Sat 20 Nov. 2010, 04:00 CAT

A DANISH legislator has observed that it is shameful for any government to control the media for political survival.

Addressing foreign journalists who visited him at the Danish parliament on Thursday, opposition Social Liberal Party parliamentarian Jorgen Poulsen who had also practiced journalism for over 30 years said he is happy that such a situation does not exist in Denmark. Poulsen said there should be no public document hidden from the media.

"It's a dream of any dictatorship to rule the press. It's a shameful thing and I have seen it in many African countries. You can't just keep out the press because they are the link between politicians and society," said Poulsen. "Our system in Denmark is that there shouldn't exist any kind of document between an MP and minister, between ministries and heads of departments without public knowledge. That doesn't simply happen. And you can ask for it document and you will get it. Every authority understands that journalists are here on behalf of the people."

And presenting a paper on The Role of the Media in a Democratic Process at the Danida Fellowship Centre earlier, Danish parliamentary specialist Jens Adser said access to information alone was not enough.

Adser advocated quality information that the public could use and appreciate.

"The information released to the public should be appropriate and correct. It should also be relevant, usable, sufficient and timely," said Adser.

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