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UN Mission Off Record, Respected by ICP, Ignored by UNCA Prez Falk of CBS

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 -- UN World is a strange place. Some countries' mission want journalists to cover their events, even their receptions, and others don't. And so you try to ask for and follow the rules.

  The US Mission has been described by some as quite controlling; most recently, they made clear that the farewell for their departing Ambassador -- you see we are not naming her -- was off the record and not to be mentioned, even the date of the event. Inner City Press agreed, and then respected it.

  But when the event occurred, there in the front row was the 2013 president of the old UN Correspondents' Association, Pamela Falk. Audio here and here.

  She whipped out her phone and took photographs. Inner City Press, also there as noted by the speaker from Djibouti, assumed these were only for Falk's personal file. Off the record means off the record for all, right?

  But no! After the event, which many enjoyed without tweeting, Pamela Falk of tweeted her photo of the event, here. Why? To show that she was there? There was no analysis, no context.

  Ironically, Pamela Falk also took photographs while Inner City Press' office was subject to a non-consensual raised by the UN on March 18, 2013.

  But when this fact was reported, she responded with a legal threat from her e-mail address, to cease and desist even asking in writing the question of why she took photographs of a raid on a journalist's office.

  Photographs of that raid, of Inner City Press' desk and bookshelf, were leaked anonymously to BuzzFeed immediately after BuzzFeed asked the UN Spokesperson's office about the raid on Inner Cit Press.

  Falk meanwhile tweeted her photograph of the event which USUN said was off the record. In the lobby -- location undisclosed by Inner City Press -- afterward, UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous was seen outside with an UNCA Executive Committee member solicitously holding an umbrella for him.

  Can you say, lapdogs? The new Free UN Coalition for Access can. And we remain waiting for answers.

   Meanwhile UNCA under Falk is trying to ban even substantive flyers on journalists' office doors, and to ban media workspace in front of the Security Council, presidency of which the US through Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo will take over on July 1. Watch this site.

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