Shouldn’t Journalists Have Some Input Into Top DPI Posts? Shouldn’t Questions Be Answered?

The UN's News & Media Division runs not only Media Accreditation but also interfaces with media in getting out the raw materials of UN coverage: UNTV video, for example, and the UN News Centre sites, which vary markedly from language to language. And the day after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on February 19 announced that the head of the News & Media Division would switch over and become his spokesperson, the Free UN Coalition for Access asked what seemed to be an obvious question: would read more [...]

In 2014, FUNCA Calls for SG Read-Outs, UN Answers, Equal & Increasing Access for All

As 2014 began, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the president of South Korea, whose office then gave the media a read-out. But the UN, even when asked on January 2, refused to give a read-out, telling the press, "we don’t put out readouts of all the calls.  I can confirm that this is a phone call that took place between the Secretary-General and the President of the Republic of Korea.  But no, there’s no readout of that call." The Free UN Coalition for Access says read-outs of Secretary read more [...]

UN’s Use of Its Own “Media” Undercuts Independent Coverage, As in DC, Access Issues

Beyond the physical access issues of no work table at the Security Council stakeout, no chairs in the media booths over the General Assembly and UN conference rooms, there is another problem. The UN increasingly denies access or the right to question to the independent press, relying instead on its own in-house media much as one-party states have. Two members of the Free UN Coalition for Access went to cover an event listed in the Media Alert. Once there, they were told only UN Photo could go read more [...]

UN Media Access Reduced By UNtransparent Processes, Reserved Seats, Double Standards

During UN General Debate week and since, it has become apparent that the UN's lack of transparency and lack of rules should be called into question. For example, when Francois Hollande held a press conference in Room S-237, many seats were labeled “Réservé” for French traveling journalists: Reserved. The Free UN Coalition for Access immediately asked DPI who had approved it, and under what rule. The reply was that this level of "reserving" was deemed to be OK, in this case. But to avoid read more [...]

With Media Banned from UNGA, Mere 12 Standing Room Spots Protested by FUNCA, Along with French Control of UNSC Congo Trip

The UN has increasingly been banning the media from covering events and venues which were previously open, for example the UN General Assembly Hall and the North Lawn building. The GA speakers' list, rev. 3, is online here. The Free UN Coalition for Access has challenged the exclusion of the press from the GA, first to the UN Department of Public Information then to DGACM on September 13. See http://youtu.be/v02ydEs4xm8 A booth without even laptops or a work table is not enough. And more stakeouts read more [...]