As UN Bungles Press Move-Back, No Keys, Wi-Fi or TV, Tells Only Some Correspondents: FUNCA Protests

May 13, 2013, updated 9:30 am, 10:10 am — The Free UN Coalition for Access had tried to hold off but now must cover the bungled move-back of the UN press corps to the Secretariat building.

It was delayed for months, then set to occur on May 10. But when the day arrived, there were still no keys for the offices being moved back to. (There were also extensive complaints to FUNCA, mostly from UNCA members, that the largest and most private offices were granted to the Executive Committee members of the UN Correspondents Association, a questionable and questioned grouping with which the UN exclusively and secretly negotiated office assignments.)

Journalists were told that a new television system called EZTV would replace the old cable system. But as of May 10, when FUNCA members tried the referenced eztv.un.org, it did not work. Nor did the wi-fi in the third floor press area.

Now on the Sunday before the Monday “move in,” the UN has offered apologies not to the entire press corps, but only to UNCA Executive Committee insiders, trying to use them who have been so well served by these secretive planning to molify others.

By no means all UN correspondents are represented by UNCA, despite recent false statements by UNCA president Pamela Falk of CBS, broadcast propaganda-like on UNTV in the UN’s lobby, to the contrary.

So where is the on the record mea culpa to all UN correspondents? Journalists were told to turn in their keys to their former cubicles and move on May 13. But it is not ready, and there are no keys to the new spaces. Investigative journalists have commitments to their sources, and will not leave any records unlocked.

Update of May 13, 9:30 am: DPI’s chief, to his credit, was working on each of these issues, and reached out to acknowledge to FUNCA the legitimacy of the issues raised. But what explains the continued communications only to insiders? After the complaint and reach-out, a rosy update was sent. Journalists were told to turn in their cubicles keys and move on May 13. But it’s not ready, there are no keys to the new spaces.

Update of May 13, 10:10 am — now it emerges that some correspondents WERE given keys, and not others. This should be explained.

Footnote: amid all this, UNCA’s Executive Committee has continued and increased its campaign of anonymous social media posts, of which some in UN’s DPI are intimately aware. It has gotten worse and worse in 2013 and we will have more on, and in response, to this. Watch this site.