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Syria Report Misleadingly "Obtained" By Reuters, Which Pays for Exclusives

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 -- After the UN released its Syria aid access report in the same murky, pre-spun way on June 20 as it did on April 23, and then on May 22, Reuters nevertheless said it "obtained" the report, in a story it labeled as "exclusive."

  But what does that mean?

  Let's explain: just before 6 pm on June 20, the UN Spokesperson's Office announced over its "squawk" system to correspondents still in the building that the report had been circulated. This meant it had been placed in piece of furniture in the Spokesperson's Office which has sat empty for many days now.

  An hour and a half later, Reuters said it "obtained" the report. What - in the same way that a person watching television "obtains" its content?

  One problem, previously reported by Inner City Press, is that Reuters bases compensation on claims to exclusively, false or not -- click here for that.

  The current Reuters bureau chief at the UN Louis Charbonneau, a major come-down from Patrick Worsnip, has tried to get other media thrown out of the UN then falsely claimed copyright to his complaints to the UN, filing here, background here with Electronic Frontier Foundation criticism of Reuters' move.

  In terms of the UN Spokesperson's duty to answer questions, there was by closure on June 20 no answer to Inner City Press' request to confirm or deny Ban Ki-moon was handed legal papers about the introduction of cholera into Haiti as he entered the Asia Society, Inner City Press coverage here.


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