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On Ukraine, Reuters Conceals Its Exclusion From Russian Statements

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 25 -- Here's a journalist ethics question: does a media, particularly a wire service which charges money to its customers for ostensible completeness, have a duty to disclose when it had been excluded?

  In December, the Russian Mission to the UN said openly that Reuters UN bureau chief had lied about its role in Darfur -- in a story on which Inner City Press noted Reuters let off the hook Herve Ladsous, the fourth French head of UN Peacekeeping in a row -- and since then, cut off Reuters.

 So on January 24 when the Russian Mission to the UN sent out its explanation for objecting to a proposed UN Security Council Press Statement about Ukraine, it sent it to AFP, Bloomberg, AP, and Inner City Press among others - but not to Reuters.

  But Reuters never disclosed this, instead repeating content available in a public Tweet at something said to Reuters "on condition of anonymity."

  This is pathetic. But is it also unethical, to not disclose when one is excluded?

 Inner City Press for example discloses when it is excluded by Herve Ladsous, the fourth French head of UN Peacekeeping in a row, even running video of Ladsous refusing to answer its question then taking Reuters' Louis Charbonneau into the hall to give his quotes, here.

  But Charbonneau does not disclose his exclusion, while Reuters sells his partial output, for example to the US government's RFERL, here. Is this ethical? We'll have more on this.

  After the shelling of Mariupol on January 24, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemnation of the shelling and of rebel statements, the UN Security Council failed to agree.

 UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant went public that a Press Statement had been proposed; he and Lithuania then complained that Russia blocked it. Then at 9:36 pm the Russian Mission to the UN sent a statement to a range of UN reporters, including AFP, Bloomberg and AFP but not Reuters, the censoring one whose UN bureau chief it had requested be fired for Darfur propaganda..


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