Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

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


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

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

US Answer on Rwanda & M23 Was to Stearns of VOA, State Media, Censor

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 -- When US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked at Tuesday briefing to denounce Rwanda for supporting the M23 rebels, few reported on who asked the question.

  It was Scott Stearns of Voice of America, a government broadcaster on whose Broadcasting Board of Governor's Psaki's boss Secretary of State John Kerry sits.

  So the US asked itself a staged question, for the second day in a row, and Psaki pulled out her binder and read a prepared answer. Stearn had asked the same question, without yet being able to cite HRW, on July 22: video here, from Minute 52:16.

  Then, Psaki had promised to get back with an answer. Inner City Press asked US Mission to the UN spokespeople about the VOA question -- as well as about the Congolese Army's 391st Battalion, which after US training has engaged in mass rape and corpses desecration, see USUN answer here.

  But it appears that Psaki held back the answer a full 24 hours, delivering it after Stearn re-posed the question by citing HRW's study (but not the correction HRW had that morning appended to it.)

  Voice of America, contrary to its recent lobbying, is state media. Inner City Press has filed and received US Freedom of Information Act responses about VOA, showing among other things that its editor Steve Redisch last year asked the UN to "review" the accreditation of Inner City Press.

  The documents show VOA saying it had the support in this of Reuters, Agence France Presse and others on the board of the United Nations Correspondents Association, headed this year by Pamela Falk of CBS.

In full disclosure, Inner City Press has further FOIA requesting pending for documents to which BBG repeatedly denies access.

  Redisch request here, here re AFP, Reuters, UNCA: and here re Reuters first vice president of UNCA Lou Charbonneau leaking to the UN's chief accreditation official Stephane Dujarric an explicitly internal UNCA document. Neither the UN nor its UN Censorship Alliance UNCA have yet taken any action on this.

  VOA and its affilates, which include Radio Marti, Al Hurra and others, have this month been celebrating a legal change allowing them to broadcast what many consider propaganda inside the US, and not only outside of it.

  Without getting here into that debate, the spectacle of state media Voice of America two days in a row asking the US State Department canned questions about the DRC, as curtain raisers to a UN Security Council to chaired Thursday by John Kerry, who is on VOA's governing board, casts a new light. As stated yesterday, this is a machine.

Footnote: Voice of American and BBG argue for broadcasting propaganda inside the US by claiming there is a clamor for their content. If it's any measure, VOA's State Department "correspondent" Scott Stearns has 46 followers on Twitter; its UN correspondent has during all this been most occupied with the birth of the UK royal baby.

  How will VOA "cover" the July 25 DRC meeting of the UN Security Council which "editor" John Kerry will be chairing? Will VOA, for example, ask about the US' training of the 391st Battalion (on which HRW was also silent, as on the UN's failed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy under Herve Ladsous) -- and if so, in a similarly canned fashion? Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

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

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

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]