Updated below with UN response — When the Security Council met July 8 about South Sudan, the UN didn’t broadcast any sound. On screen, envoy Hilde Johnson’s mouth moved. But nothing could be heard.
Later at the Security Council stakeout, US Acting Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo came out to speak of South Sudan. But the microphone was too low, and the new boom microphone operator from the UN’s new contractor TeamPeople didn’t know it was his job to raise it. It was not his fault.
No one could hear anything; a reporter leaned in through the UNTV filming box to extend his own digital recorder microphone. To this has the UN descended.
The Free UN Coalition for Access took to Twitter to ask why; the question was seconded. To his credit, UN official Stephane Dujarric acknowledged a “tech glitch” and asked for patience. But nine hours later there had still been no explanation why. The video was put online, here, with ten minutes as silent movie.
There was no response at all as to why the UN webcast of a General Assembly meeting on inequality offered only English and no translation.
A request for a video file of the July 5 noon briefing led to a discovery that the file was damaged and could not be used. Clearly something is going wrong. Isn’t the UN’s first job to make sure it provides sound of the South Sudan mission’s briefing to the Security Council?
Meanwhile the Department of Public Information has still not rescinded its June 24 threat to suspend or withdraw acccreditation for merely posting a single Free UN Coalition for Access sign, when it allows UNCA two signs and much more. We’ll have more on all this.Watch this site.
Update: now this UN explanation:
“With regard to the question on the missing audio of the first part of Hilde Johnson’s briefing to the Security Council on Monday, we have been told that the router that feeds audio and video from the chambers and conference rooms to the broadcast facilities underwent some upgrading during the weekend by the vendor.
“When they redid the setting afterward, among the numerous parameters that they had to check, they apparently missed one, which caused the audio not to be embedded in the video for the first 15 minutes or so before it was rectified. The remainder of the briefing [about 12 minutes] was recorded We very much regret this human error.
“We are also aware of the delay of posting videos the webcast page. The webcast team is working as fast as possible to post the videos but there is a technical issue in the retrieval process. This is due to a technical problem with the new system which is in the process of being worked out.”
FUNCA notes: this does not explain why the noon briefing was not on the live webcast, nor the lack of translation in the webcast. Shouldn’t the UN focus on this? To be continued.