Subject: [fem-women2000 454] [FAIR-L] ACTIVISM UPDATE: IMF Responds on Alternative Media
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 16:00:54 +0900
Seq: 454

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
Forwarded by Karen Banks <>

hi everyone

Press Accreditation was a big issue for many during UNGASS - i thought
this article from FAIR's list might be of interest to some here..


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 17:44:26 -0400
Reply-To: fair-l-request@LISTSERV.AMERICAN.EDU
Subject: [FAIR-L] ACTIVISM UPDATE: IMF Responds on Alternative Media           

                    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and news reports

ACTIVISM UPDATE: IMF Responds on Alternative Media Exclusion

July 12, 2000

In response to a letter from a FAIR activist protesting the exclusion of
community journalists from the IMF and World Bank's April meetings, IMF
Senior Press Officer William Murray sent the following note:


"Thank you for your letter dated June 17, 2000 to Managing Director Horst
Koehler regarding our press credential policy. Let me explain briefly what
the IMF and World Bank policy is regarding press access at our regular
Spring committee meetings.

"The IMF and World Bank do not accredit as journalists the representatives
of public access television, student newspapers, publications of private
consulting firms, or academic journals.  This policy exists because of the
difficulty in establishing their credentials as professional journalists.

"The press also enjoys privileged access, which raises potential security
risks and requires careful vetting of accreditation requests.  Our
accreditation policy is a standard arrangement for events that attract a
large number of journalists.

"The IMF and World Bank still accredited more than 2,200 journalists for the
April meetings, which is roughly four times the usual level of accreditation
requests we receive.  Of the total accredited, 1,636 journalists from more
than 30 countries actually turned out, which is about three times the
typical number. We obviously are seeking to accredit as many professional
journalists as possible, and to promote the broadest possible coverage for
our 182 member nations.

"All press conferences are also transcribed immediately, and the transcripts
are posted on our Internet site ( for easy and timely
public access. You should regularly visit the site.

"I hope this clarifies our actions. I assure you that the IMF and World Bank
have every reason to want informed public debate."

* * *

FAIR Responds:

This explanation of the IMF's press policy leaves out a key category of
exclusion. Some of the journalists who were refused accreditation in April
received a message from the IMF Press Office (Mr. Murray's own department)
stating that the institution does not accredit "public access TV, community
radio, nor student or academic publications."

The crucial category here, which Mr. Murray fails to address, is community
radio-- the major source of daily news that does not have a corporate
filter. It is particularly indefensible for the IMF to deny access to
community radio given that radio is the primary source of news in many of
the developing countries that IMF/World Bank policy impacts most directly.

While the IMF phrases its exclusionary policy in terms of convenience and
security, it has the additional effect of marginalizing those outlets that
are most likely to view the IMF's proceedings with a critical eye.
Expecting the public to visit the IMF's website regularly is hardly an
adequate substitute for critical, independent reporting.

The IMF's email address is .



FAIR's June 22 Action Alert, "Nader Left Out of Media Websites," incorrectly
referred to the New York Times' "Political Navigator" page
as the New York Times/ABC News "Political Points" site. The confusion arose
in part because the "Navigator" page is accessed through a link labeled
"Political Points" on the New York Times index page
( ).

At the time of our original alert, the Times' "Political Navigator" page did
not list Nader; it now does, as our June 30 Activism Update noted. The New
York Times/ABC News "Political Points" page
( ) added Nader to its list of
candidates before our alert.


Feel free to respond to FAIR ( ). We can't reply to
everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate
documented example of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of
your email correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to us
at: .

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News Channel's "Fox News Watch," which airs which airs Saturdays at 7 pm and
Sundays at 2 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Check your local listings.

FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 120 stations in
the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station nearest you, visit .

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