When Ambassador to the UN Tells Correspondent “You Are Not A Journalist,” FUNCA Objects, And To Privatized Access

Is it acceptable, in the UN Press Briefing Room, for the Permanent Representative of a P5 Security Council member to cut off a correspondent's critical question and say, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent," as French Ambassador Gerard Araud did on April 15? Video here. The Free UN Coalition for Access says no. On April 16, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked to convey the generic principle that correspondents should be respected to the French Mission to the UN. He declined. Video read more [...]

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 [...]