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As UN Orders 1 Journalist Out of Turkish Lounge, Lets Reuters Sprawl Out

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 -- Even while the UN Security Council met Tuesday morning about Libya, the UN's reduction of media access for most, double standards and favoritism for its UN Censorship Alliance known as UNCA was on display.

  There was still no media worktable as existed before the Council's relocation. But into the Turkish Lounge area, from which a journalist who has signed a Free UN Coalition for Access petition was told to leave on Monday by the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, an UNCA Executive Committee member sprawled out talking on a cell phone.

Some journalists are allowed by the UN in the Turkish Lounge, and some are not. A wag mused that it is like Taksim Square of late.

  There are two standards, you see. The UN is moving to Ban even a sign for the Free UN Coalition for Access, which has been pushing back against the reduction in access and media workspace. But the UN says there can continue to be at least two big signs up for UNCA, which sign on to the access reduction (and sign elimination) rule. Photos here.

  Who was the UNCA Executive Committee member sprawled out in the Turkish Lounge? First Vice President Louis Charbonneau of Reuters, who has repeatedly written to the UN's Stephane Dujarric, first at his UN address and then more stealthly to a personal account, seeking to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN. UN Censorship Alliance, indeed. But this double standard is one step too far. Watch this site.

Footnote: Also Tuesday morning, a UN staff member -- NOT from the Department of Public Information, MALU's parent - told Inner City Press that some benches for journalists are to be installed in the next few days.

  This is some reaction to FUNCA's advocacy, but not enough. And MALU's and Dujarric's response is to try to Ban the signs of FUNCA, and create a double standard in Taksim Square -- sorry, the Turkish Lounge.

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