Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT New Yorker, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


ICP on YouTube

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At UN, Moves to Expel Press Violate UNCA Rules But Persist, Like Scoop Stealing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 29 -- With the UN Security Council meeting Tuesday morning on the Middle East, and in the afternoon on Yemen, the "urgent" move to expel Inner City Press persisted without disclosure, despite a legal showing to the UN Correspondents Association's Executive Committee that their own Constitution and stated purposes are being violated.

  A letter Inner City Press directed to the 14 other members of the UNCA Executive Committee was responded to by only one of them. Notably, Sunday May 27 was essentially a work day for those reporting on the UN, as the Security Council held an actually urgent meeting on the killings in Houla.

  UNCA President Giampaolo Pioli, who on May 25 issued a notice of a May 29 session to appoint a "Board of Examination" to try to expel Inner City Press, did not come to the UN to cover that Security Council session on Syria.

Pioli had on Friday afternoon, May 25 sent out the following:

Dear colleagues

I recived a request from 5 members of UNCA executive committee to urgently

appoint a <board of examination> to look into a list of complaints <about Matthew Lee's harassment of colleagues>. The Unca Executive committee will meet Tuesday may 29 at 4pm or at 5pm in the Unca club. Please attend.

But six times thereafter Pioli refused to disclose which five Executive Committee members filed written complaints, who was harassed and what definition of harassement -- mere publication of critical journalism and media critique? would be used.

Pioli's First Vice President and Rasputin Lou Charbonneau of Reuters, who on May 21 was bylined on a Reuters story stealing without credit an Inner City Press exclusive of March 28 that US official Jeffrey Feltman would come to work for the UN, did come to the UN and even sat at the multiple stakeouts. But he did not ask any questions, preferring to use the information gleaned by the questions of others.

Foreign Policy's The Cable, for example, credited Inner City Press, but Reuters did not. At the stakeout on Sunday, a Russian UN correspondent thanked Inner City Press for another exclusive report which he said he'd used and credited.

  Charbonneau has said that he has a POLICY of not crediting Inner City Press exclusives, a statement that Reuters has yet to respond to.

Inner City Press asked questions of and got answers from the UN Ambassadors of the UK, Syria, Germany, Russia and France -- whose Mission's tool Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse was seen near the stakeout, but who asked no on the record questions.

After Pioli refused for the sixth time to respond to Inner City Press' request that he provide the names of the five UNCA Executive Committee members he said had in writing requested the Board of Examination to try to expel Inner City Press, the following letter was sent to him and each Committee member:

"Hello. I have a number of legal and other concerns about the complaints against me, including to MALU, and the way in which they are being handled.

Since I received this notice on Friday afternoon, I have asked Giampaolo six times to provide basic information I have a right to in order to prepare for this session.

This includes the names of those who have referred charges in writing accusing me of harassment; the definition of harassment to be used, and the names of those I have allegedly harassed.

The information has not been provided. I have explained to Giampaolo why I have a right to it: it is obvious that those who have referred the written charges, as well as those who have allegedly been harassed, cannot be on the Board of Examination, which must be impartial under UNCA Constitution Article 6 (1) (b). I would also argue those who have used exclusives without credit cannot be viewed as sufficiently impartial.

For the record, while it was said in April that all UNCA Executive Committee members should contact each other directly when problems arise, when I wrote on May 21 to Lou about his and Reuters' uncredited use of Inner City Press' March 28 exclusive about Feltman coming to head DPA -- which for example Foreign Policy's "The Cable" did credit -- Lou never responded.

Finally on May 23 he said he has a policy of not crediting Inner City Press. I am concerned by this, and became even more troubled when I learned that he had filed a complaint about me with MALU and Dujarric based only on my speech -- that I told him he disgusted me . He also cc-ed Giampaolo, Maggie and Tim (who notably is not an officer.) I was never informed of the complaint.

Perhaps some of you weren't either - I'd like to know - so I am attaching a copy of Lou's complaint to MALU to this message.

I would also like to be informed whether Lou's complaint was on behalf of UNCA, or if Lou was abusing his position in UNCA to file complaints with MALU against another Executive Committee member. The complaint would in fact benefit his employer, some missions and even UN officials like Ban Ki-moon and Herve Ladsous.

If published material can be defined by the UNCA Executive Committee as "harassment," then any subject of critical press coverage could make a harassment charge.

I have never filed a complaint with MALU against any UNCA Executive Committee member, or any UNCA member or journalist at the UN at all.

While Lou's complaint to MALU says I am somehow making it hard for him and unnamed others to work, I view the complaint as an attempt to STOP me from working at the UN. For the record I view all of this as a violation of UNCA Constitution Article 1 (3). I am opposing this and will oppose this 100%.

Since the purpose of a Constitution is not to permit but to limit gang rule, actions such as violations of UNCA Constitution Article 1 (3) are subject to outside judicial review.

In fact, the current UNCA Constitution's fails to specify the grounds on which an impeachment or expulsion of an elected member of the Executive Committee such as you propose can take place. This failure could, and in appropriate circumstances will, be voided by a court, arguably in the context of a dissolution.

Given the refusal to provide me with basic information about the complaint against me, despite six requests, the announced session (which overlaps with the Security Council's session on Yemen) on the afternoon of May 29, should not go forward. Please advise."

Each of these arguments will be unpacked as far as it needs to be. Watch this site.

Share |

Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]