Venezuela's national assembly reopens to the press after five-year ban
Feb 7, Caracas: When security guards opened the doors to Venezuela's colonial-era National Assembly building last Wednesday, I was among the dozens of reporters who swarmed inside. Even though the day's legislative session would not be called to order for another three hours, every seat in the press galley, located on the second-floor balcony overlooking the chamber, was quickly occupied.
The enthusiasm was understandable because reporters have only recently been allowed back in the building. In 2010, deputies of the ruling Socialist Party approved a measure banning journalists from the press balcony. Instead, they were relegated to a cramped room where they could monitor congress only by watching the sessions on a state TV channel that often censored statements by opposition legislators, numerous reporters told me.
The Oslo Times