The High Court of Kerala has made it mandatory for journalists to have a Law degree to get the accreditation of legal correspondents reporting the court proceedings.
A section of lawyers and journalists have been in fisticuffs since July in Kerala after lawyers launched an aggressive protest against the media coverage of the case of an alleged bid by a government pleader to molest a woman in the city last week.
Two types of accreditation are envisaged under the new norms, viz. regular and temporary. In both types of accreditation, LLB degree is made mandatory. Apart from accreditation, the Registrar-General has been empowered to grant temporary reporting facility for a day or for a specific case, subject to conditions.
The norms for regular accreditation also read that for a journalist to get accreditation, he/she should ordinarily have five years’ court reporting experience in a daily newspaper and/or a national or international news agency or electronic media organisation, of which at least three and a half years must be at the Kerala High Court or Supreme Court or at any High Court(s) in India.
For temporary accreditation, two years’ experience is sufficient.
The norms also set out the conditions to be observed by an accredited correspondent.
He/she is supposed to be in formal dress in a manner befitting decorum of the court and shall display prominently his identity card and also maintain decorum in the court and refrain doing anything that may disturb the court proceedings.
Last year, the Supreme Court, too, had norms introduced the requirement of Law degree for temporary and regular accreditation.