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Ban's Office Stonewalls on SC Media Access, EZTV Complaints, Follow the Money

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 28 -- Media access was again the topic at the UN's noon briefing on Tuesday, this time with four separate questioners on the topic. Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday May 22-24 only Inner City Press asked, about the slated reduction in media workspace in front of the Security Council.

  On this topic, after a three day weekend to get a more credible answer, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey on May 28 would not Inner City Press even on when the amended Media Access Guidelines, shown to the new Free UN Coalition for Access on May 20, will go into place.

  He insisted that only the Department of Public Information can answer this. But it hasn't. Video of May 24 and 28 briefings here.

  The other question raised, Del Buey also referred to DPI albeit less defensively. He said that he would inform DPI of the questioners concern about "EZTV" not working.

  Inner City Press for FUNCA echoed and supported this complaint but wonders: if Ban's Office will convey press corps positions about EZTV, why not about actual media access and workspace to cover the Security Council?

  Some have concluded that the goal behind trying to eliminate a media table in front of the Security Council, which existed prior to the renovation, and also during the renovation at the temporary Council in the basement, is to drive reporters back into their offices, to only cover what they are given.

  In this theory, it is in the UN's interest to have reporters relying on "Easy" UNTV. So why not fix it fast?

  A table, as has been shown to the incoming Security Council president for June, could easily fix between the steps down to the Security Council and the so-called Turkish Lounge. So FUNCA continues to press the issue.

  Anonymous social media accounts associated with the old UN Correspondents Association -- and with Reuters, it must be and has been said -- even over Memorial Day weekend mocked the push for media workspace by the Council, comparing it to a push for a "massage table," or saying that a table should only be for "real journalists," presumably like their anonymous selves.

  But then where are they, fighting for anything but television reception in their offices?

Footnotes: Reuters sent both of its UN reporters to Tuesday's noon briefing, as if to show just how important this Easy TV issue is to the wire service (which today lost its social media editor Anthony De Rosa to Circa; more on that anon.)

  Reuters apparently doesn't push for media workspace in front of the Security Council because they benefit from less access: they get reports leaked by Western members of the Council.

  Continued and unreduced media access to all 15 Council members serves and helps smaller investigative media, not them. And since their compensation is based on exclusives, even if inaccurately labeled and claimed, there appears to be an economic interest in reduced media access for others.

  Who are they, then, to anonymously and false charge smaller media of being funded by terrorists? It is, in a word, disgusting. Watch this site.

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