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

After ICP Asks If Ban to Meet Pope, UN Squawks Answer to Scribes, No E-mail

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 -- Here's a small example of how the UN works, or doesn't.

 At Friday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's lead spokesman Martin Nesirky, piped into the briefing from Madrid, to confirm that Ban will meet Pope Francis in Rome on April 9. Video here, from Minute 5:40.

  Nesirky refused to answer, saying when they have an announcement they'll make it, that's how it's done.

It seemed strange, since the Vatican had already announced that Ban would go.

  Inner City Press immediately wrote the story, after Nesirky's deputy Eduardo Del Buey refused questions on Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, then headed to the UN's North Lawn building to cover more fall out from the Staff Union's vote of “no confidence” in Ban.

  Ban's spokesperson's office sent no e-mail answer, nothing. But then a flurry of tweets from UN correspondents who weren't at the noon briefing, “reporting” that the UN says Ban will go to Rome.

  How can the UN answer the question it declined at noon, while not providing the information to the journalist who asked the question?

  Well, Ban's spokesperson's office has a “squawk” system where they pipe in audio to correspondents sitting in their cubicles. They get answers, in this case, to others' questions, while the questioner, not in the cubicle that the UN raided on March 18, does not get the answer.

  This is an institutionalized version of what Ban's UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous does -- refuse questions from Inner City Press for weeks about the rapes in Minova, for example, then hand half-answers to the scribes. Rather than standing up to Ladsous, the UN has sunk to his level.

  While the UN conducted its March 18 raid, Pamela Falk of CBS, the president of the UN Correspondents Association -- now known as the UN's Censorship Alliance -- ghoulishly took photographs. Later she sent a legal threat from her e-mail address to Inner City Press, to not ask or write about it.

  She was not among the tweeters of the spoon- (or squawk) fed news. But “first” was Voice of America, which tried in 2012 to get the UN to “review the accreditation” of Inner City Press.

  Then there was Louis Charbonneau of Reuters; documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act from VOA say Reuters supported the request.

  Then there was Denis Fitzgerald of Saudi Press Agency, who volunteered to “judge” Inner City Press in 2012, and is now on the Executive Committee of the UN Censorship Alliance. And so it goes at the UN. 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-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 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]