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Reuters' Nichols Types Stories from UNTV, Files False Complaints Against Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 -- How does the UN and its press corps, at least Reuters, work?

  Compare the filmed question and answer sessions Tuesday of Ambassadors Susan Rice of the US, Vitaly Churkin of Russia and Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman of Sudan with this long but entirely derivative Reuters story, bylined Michelle Nichols.

  And consider then when Nichols' supervisor Louis Charbonneau came to the stakeout, what he asked about was Iran. Then consider anti Press moves past and present by both.

   As the Security Council met Tuesday about Sudan and South Sudan, the stakeout in front was nearly empty. Sudan's Ambassador came and told Inner City Press his views of the agreement reached with South Sudan. Rather than waiting for spin from Western diplomats or spokespeople, Inner City Press published Sudan's views, and asked other about them.

  When the Council meeting ended, three Permanent Representatives told Inner City Press that its write-up up Sudan's view had come up heatedly in consultations. It was announced that Susan Rice would come to the stakeout. Now Charbonneau of Reuters came downstairs -- but not about Sudan.

  Rice spoke about Sudan, then called on Inner City Press, which asked about the Sudanese Ambassador's earlier statement as well as Southern Kordofan. Video here. Charbonneau went next - and asked about Iran.

  (Upstairs, the door to Reuters' office is plastered with Iran filings like trophies. On the door of Inner City Press' shared office, flyers of the new Free UN Coalition for Access have been defaced by "leaders" of the UN Correspondents Association, of which Charbonneau remains first vice president.)

  When Russia's Churkin came to the stakeout, he spoke only briefly. Inner City Press asked him about what Rice said, and he called it bizarre and more, explaining the process and the Council's dysfunction. His statement on this was entirely in response to the question. Video here.

   Later on Tuesday Inner City Press scanned and published the Sudan and South Sudan Implementation Matrix.

  But what happened later? Reuters under the byline of Michelle Nichols, who never came to the stakeout but simply watched UNTV upstairs, published a long and derivative story "edited" by Christopher Wilson about the Russia and US stakeouts, never mentioned how the issue came up or any of the questions.

  A reader might think that Reuters did more on this than just watch TV. But the reader would be wrong, as is increasingly the case with Reuters.

  Last week, after Reuters took and published incomplete spin given to it and others including AFP by Herve Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations, answer a question about 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army Ladsous supports, Inner City Press took issue, in writing.

  Asked about it at the stakeout by another, non wire journalists, Inner City Press summarized what had happened. Nichols, who happened to be at the stakeout that day, asking some Western ambassadors about their holidays and such, cut in to say that some journalists work behind the scenes (an understatement, in her case.)

  Inner City Press replied with a sarcastic comment about her story. AFP's Tim Witcher hissed “lies and distortions,” and Inner City Press never standing up from table and computer called him a lapdog, then continued speaking with the also seated non-wire journalist. After a time, Nichols and Witcher left.

  Three days later Inner City Press was informed that Nichols and Witcher filed complaint(s) with UN Security about the “incident.” One or two complaints? It's not known: so far, no copy has been provided, for Inner City Press' response.

  This has been a pattern with Reuters, both bogus and stealth complaints, inappropriate attempts to censor -- Charbonneau recently told Inner City Press, in front of UN Media Accreditation boss Stephane Dujarric, “the fundamental problem is your website” -- and Reuters support for Voice of America's request to Dujarric to review the accreditation of Inner City Press, click here for that. Charbonneau has refused to answer questions on this, audio here.

 Meanwhile, UN official Dujarric continues to refuse to disclose the Accreditation due process rules, as requested by even the New York Civil Liberties Union last year in response to another Reuters-involved anti Press push.

  Reuters takes stories from watching others' questions on UNTV, then tries to abuse its power to get other journalists in trouble or thrown out. This is how they work. Watch this site.

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