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

As Reuters Brags of Bagging Syria Letters, For & From Whom, Threats to Leave

By Matthew Russell Lee, Media Critique

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 -- In the stand-off between Syria and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's UN on whether to start a chemical weapons probe with one site or agree on more before beginning, the use of who leaks to whom, and why, has come to the fore.

  Reuters brags that Syrian foreign minister Walid al “Moualem also complained about the leak of previous letters exchanged between Syria and the United Nations to Reuters, saying it 'left the impression of a lack of seriousness on the part of the (UN) secretariat on cooperation in good faith.'”

  Beyond the bragging, a question being asked is who leaks to whom, and why? How does a negotiation letter from Syria to Ban Ki-moon and his German negotiator Angela Kane get leaked to Reuters, in Reuters own description?

  Either Ban's UN Secretariat gives it to Reuters, or there is a middle man. Some surmise that Ban's UN gives the letter to the Missions of the UK or France, which in turn give it to Reuters.

  (This is not unlike, at a lower level, the UN's photos of its raid on Inner City Press' office on March 18 being leaked to BuzzFeed on March 21, through an anonymous “Concerned UN Reporter” -- not unrelated to Reuters, not unrelated at all.)

  Journalists general like leaks, and Inner City Press is no exception. But there are different kinds of “leaks.” When the Bush Administration gave material about Iraq to Judith Miller, and she gave them anonymous, was that a good leak? An honorable leak? A “scoop”?

  While an angry individual whistleblower in the UN Secretariat might be one thing, for the Ban Ki-moon administration to intentional leak the negotiating document submitted to it be a member state would be a problem. Since the UN is owned by all 193 member states, who would authorize such a leak?

  But perhaps Ban's UN would think it fine to share Syria's letter with France and the UK (one wonders if this would go the other way). One would expect a “no leaking” commitment be sought and obtained, but who knows?

  While one is for some reason not supposed to say so, Reuters is often used by the UK, French and other other missions for intentional leaks. This makes Reuters' UN bureau and its bureau chief valuable to these important Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council.

  (Again turning to the smaller press freedom picture, this is what makes it so outrageous that Reuters UN bureau chief threatened that if the UN did not throw Inner City Press out, he would have no choice but to ask about transferring out of the UN to another beat at Reuters.

  Given the functions he and Reuters serve at the UN, at least for some important Missions, was that an appropriate threat? Did he inform the big wigs at Reuters about it, and do they stand behind it?

  They have been urged to inquire into their UN bureau's anti-Press moves, in their own names and as anonymous trolls. (Which has continued.)

  Those asked include, so far, Stephen J. Adler, Editor in Chief, Paul Ingrassia, Deputy Editor in Chief, Walden Siew, Top News Editor, Greg McCune, “Ethics,” and one other. But despite the issues raised, twice now, this mega corporation will not respond or more importantly reform. Kingdom of trolls? 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]