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Scam Protector of Journalists UNCA Board Pitches to Lithuania While Censoring

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 -- Hypocrisy at the UN is not limited to the Secretariat, for example refusing to accept responsibility for bringing to cholera to Haiti, but extends to the UN Correspondents Association which purports to represent reporters.

  In fact, in 2012 members of the UNCA Executive Committee tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN following a dispute about reporting on Sri Lanka and conflicts of interest, click here for that.

  Inner City Press quit UNCA after that and co-founded the Free UN Coalition for Access.

  Just last month after French Ambassador Gerard Araud told a still UNCA dues-paying Lebanese reporter, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent," UNCA "dragged its feet" in his words and did nothing to defend the rights of journalists.

  The Free UN Coalition for Access has asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric to inform Araud of the stated position, that correspondents should be treated with respect. (Dujarric has yet to do so.)

  Now, this same UNCA executive committee is bragging that it is meeting with UN Security Council ambassadors -- well, one, Lithuania -- about, what else, journalists' rights and protection. What a travesty.

  Since being exposed, by documents released under the US Freedom of Information Act, for having secretly asked Dujarric to throw out the investigative Press, there have been no reforms at UNCA. One of the "for the record" complaints to Dujarric has been Banned from Google's search under a bogus copyright claim, here. This is outright censorship.

  With the current presidency of the Security Council, UNCA tried to privatize the whole month, saying that to hear about the Council's work for the months one had to RVSP to UNCA to attend.

  This was disproved and was appropriately disavowed -- but the attempts to brand UN rooms and events continues, and to cynically claim an UNdeserved protection of journalists mantle. This should not be accepted; it will be exposed and opposed.

  Earlier this month the head of the UN Correspondents Association felt comfortable trying to dictate how and who UN Television filmed on World Press Freedom Day. 

  According to multiple sources, Pamela Falk of CBS complained to the top of the Department of Public Information that UNTV dared cut away to a shot of a skeptic during her speech claiming UNCA protects journalists. Video here on Inner City Press' YouTube channel (on full video on UN website, here, from Minute 30).

  After the video and the UNCA attempt to censor that it spawned were known, other critics came forward. This doesn't represent us, said one. Another brought up a surge in Falk's UNCA twitter accounts low number of followers, pointing out hundreds in a row with little identifying information, some with pornographic profiles, concluding, "they're bought followers." Photo of graph, here.

  Falk's own twitter account has a surge in followers, photo of graph here; once exposed, both accounts dropped many followers. Falk had now admitted she had "fake followers" but has tried to say some outside force did it. Really? Then who arranged for UNCA to look like it had more followers than it does? Who paid for this?

  The month started when UNCA's 2013-14 president Pam Falk grandiosely attempted to launch a Twitter hashtag promoting the group. An UNCA member, rather than obediently tweeting the contrived tag, noted online that when Falk claimed the "GA commends UNCA every year," UNTV camera cuts to @innercitypress shaking head in disbelief, too funny.

 (The UNTV video, which we went back and found for the reasons below is online here, from Minute 30.)

  As we first diplomatically recorded, the UNTV control room got a complaint about their camera angles. This is called attempted censorship, as is this Digital Millennium Copyright Act filing with Google, here.

  Now we can report based on multiple sources that Falk herself complained to the top of DPI - and that this complaint, rather than being as it should have been laughed at and rejected, was passed on to the control room, trying to dictate even what the camera operators film as cut-aways.

  This is outright censorship: the UN's Censorship Alliance's reverse flow.

  In 2012, some on UNCA's Executive Board tried to pursue the investigative Press for its coverage of UN official Herve Ladsous and also separately of France's ambassador Gerard Araud, then moved for expulsion based on coverage of Sri Lanka. Now, UNCA's president demands that the UN itself change how it films, to censor opposition.

  Out in the real world, the UN Secretariat had no comment on Ethiopia's jailing of journalists including the Zone 9 Bloggers, when asked about it by the new Free UN Coalition for Access. As we covered on May 8, the UN has yet to speak on Yemen's deportation of one of the few (but more than two) non-Yemeni journalists working in the country. The next story is Myanmar - watch this site.


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