UNGA Access Cut-Back, from GA Stakeout to Photo-Ops, USG Banning Filming, Privatization of Press Briefing Room, FUNCA Says UNacceptable

September 29 -- The UN General Debate of 2014 has seen cut-backs and several negative precedents for media access, abetted by the UN itself. The absurdity of requiring, even after metal detectors, minders or escorts from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison unit to get to the General Assembly stakeout has yet to be explained. A P5 member state's attempt to privatize the UN Press Briefing Room was challenged by the Free UN Coalition for Access. But since then, the UN Spokesman has claimed that read more [...]

UN Needs Freedom of Information Act, Now More Than Ever, FUNCA Presses

September 15, 2014 -- While the UN holds another General Assembly debate, it still does not recognize any right by the press and public to access: the UN has no Freedom of Information Act. The Free UN Coalition for Access, which presses for greater access to information and access in matters large and small, has since its beginning asked the UN why it does not recognize this basic right, even as the UN preaches about openness and accountability. On September 15, the question was put to Secretary read more [...]

UN Should Become More Transparent & Even-Handed on Answers, Press Encounters, Reporting & Deference to Different States, FUNCA Says

July 5, 2014 -- With the top spot in the UN Department of Public Information not yet filled, but input yet to be sought from journalists who cover the UN, it’s a time to revisit the basics including the minimum that the press and public should be able to expect from the UN. The Office of the Spokesperson shouldn’t give false or misleading information, and if it has, it should correct it, including directly to the journalist(s) to which the false or misleading information was given. Recently, read more [...]

FUNCA Points Out Need for UN to Take Input from Press & Public, Protests Lockouts, Eviction of News Agency of Nigeria

If the UN is supposed to be accountable to “we the peoples” and to all 193 member states equally, why was the News Agency of Nigeria thrown out of its work space at the UN? The Free UN Coalition for Access raised this question at the UN's June 4 noon briefing, but no explanation was given. Video here. So FUNCA has asked both MALU and the top of the Department of Public Information. Among the questions: are all media treated fairly? As the New York Civil Liberties Union asked the UN - the current read more [...]

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 [...]