TAMIL NADU

Camera-shy policy helps Corpn. save face

CHENNAI OCT. 31. The Chennai Corporation's new media policy is working to the advantage of its officials when the Council proceedings tend to get stormy.

Starting from the last meeting, media cameramen covering council meetings have been allowed to photograph the proceedings only during the first 10 minutes. This is usually the `safe period', when councillors take their `anti-untouchability' pledge and read out verses from Thirukkural.

With the new policy, officials have ensured that cameras are not keeping a vigil during the more `sensitive' zero hour or subsequent proceedings when arguments and unruly scenes are likely to be witnessed.

On Thursday, when the DMK councillors were being bundled out, the newspersons missed out on several photo opportunities that would have captured the action. In particular, the sight of a vigilance constable climbing and standing on a table was a scene that alarmed many. Now, only the Corporation videographers have captured the incident. This would be available only to the officials and not the public.

It may be recalled that some of the video evidence of the August 29 council meeting in which the AIADMK and the DMK councillors traded blows caused worry to many in the Corporation. The government appointed a single judge committee to enquire into the cause of the violence, which was screened on many television channels.

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