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UN Censorship Alliance Seeks to Bury New Media & Its “In-House Stories”

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 3 – The UN attempts to censor journalists by falsely claiming that quotes, after “you are the record” was clearly said, should not be used.

  The only free-press response must be to run the quotes, and the on the record audio.

   When the false claim states “it is deeply disappointing to learn that in fact you reported on the meeting” and comes in a formal letter from the boss of UN Media Accreditation Stephane Dujarric, the de facto attempt to censor is clear.

   But at the referenced meeting, neither Dujarric or any other participant ever said it was off the record.

   In fact, after being compared to a “mugger,” Inner City Press said loudly, “You are on the record,” and the president of the UN Correspondents Association Pamela Falk of CBS said “he's going to write this up.” Click here for audio of that.

   Immediately after receiving Dujarric's false claim, Inner City Press reminded him of the loud “on the record” statement, and inquired into the purpose of the letter and the process to rebut it. That was on Wednesday, February 27.

   Neither on Thursday February 28 nor Friday March 1 did Dujarric respond in any way, despite inquiries by Inner City Press with others in the Media Accreditation chain of command.

   The goal seems to be to discourage any reporting, via the false claim of the boss of Accreditation. This is unacceptable.

   Today, four days after Dujarric's false and still unexplained complaint, we are running audio of another portion of the meeting, which occurred after Inner City Press announced, if for some reasons there was any misunderstanding, “you are on the record.”

   In this audio clip, Pamela Falk screams that Inner City Press should not publish even her name, despite the fact that she chose to pursue, without any competition, the top spot at UNCA in the year after it tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

   Dujarric cuts off Inner City Press' response and says yes, you have the right to exist... "as long as you have an accreditation” -- the continuation of which, of course, he controls.

  Dujarric also to his credit said there should be more reporting on how the money flows at the UN, on how the deals are made, and on Haiti, where the UN recently dismissed claims it introduced cholera which killed 8,000 people.

   Inner City Press covers all of those issues. But apparently Dujarric's only threat-letter went to Inner City Press, and not to the UNCA “leaders” for establishing anonymous Twitter accounts to try to undermine not only Inner City Press but also the new Free UN Coalition for Media Access with counterfeit messages to countries' missions to the UN. Where's the threat letter on that?

   Actually, Inner City Press and FUNCA have never asked the UN and its Department of Public Information to send complaint letters to any media.

  We believe in freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which has included being called a “mugger” and having UNCA leaders' insulting graffiti on Inner City Press' UN cubicle door.

   The point is, what Inner City Press does is on the record, for attribution. The same is true for the Free UN Coalition for Access.

 By contrast, UNCA leaders conduct their campaigns anonymously, then when they shout insults after they are told, and acknowledge, that they are on the record, they try to use the UN's Media Accreditation machinery to discourage any reporting.

   Also in the meeting, Falk's first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters said the "fundamental problem" is the Inner City Press website. Click here for audio of that.

   That's why it's called the UN's Censorship Alliance. And it is not acceptable. Watch this site.

Footnote: Also on this audio clip, UNCA's Pamela Falk bemoans that “our media” can't do “in house stories” which she then conflates with “personal attacks.”

  This might be a subset of the new media - old media dynamic: but only at the UN do the old media think they should be able to use officials like Dujarric to get the new media thrown out, or to limit reporting by threats to accreditation.

  Inner City Press said, and says: when the UN offers a privileged position to an organization which openly tried to get other critical Press thrown out, it will be opposed, now by the Free UN Coalition for Access. The need for a new organization to stand up for the right of access to the UN and to freely reporting in and on the UN is ever more clear.

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