IRONY ALERT: The Press Was Barred from a ‘Press Freedom’ Event at the UN

I think the United Nations has a problem with “irony.” No members of the press were allowed to attend a recent event that was meant to explore press freedom that was scheduled to be held in the UN building in New York.

A separate group not run by the UN scheduled its little mini press freedom day conference to be held at the UN but UN security officials wouldn’t allow anyone to attend unless they already had a UN press pass. So, essentially the press was barred from the event.

The event sponsored by PEN International—a group once named “Poets, Essayists and Novelists” and concerned with journalism and press freedom—was titled, “Finding Security in Unsafe Passages: United Nations Event about Protecting Journalists’ Safety and Rights.”

PEN’s event was set to mark World Press Freedom Day and was described as an opportunity to gain an insider’s view of international efforts to promote freedom of the press and to end impunity for crimes against journalists. The event was to feature experts who would offer safety tips, share advice for protecting sources and copyrights in all types of media, and address cybersecurity risks.

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…When quizzed on the odd situation, representatives of PEN claimed that they were unaware that the UN would bar members of the press from attending their press freedom event.

A reporter from Observer was blithely told by a PEN representative, “it does seem extremely odd to be keeping press out of the event.”

Unbelievable.

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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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