UNITED NATIONS – After a long and possibly politically motivated battle over the United Nations denying WorldNetDaily press accreditation, the U.N. has relented and granted WND reporters full privileges at its New York City campus and special events.
The decision came as the result of a recent review by the U.N.’s Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, or MALU. The findings were relayed by MALU director Isabelle Broyer late last week.
“Previously our rules accrediting Internet media were too vague. We now have more detailed rules to guide us,” Broyer said. “Also, we were impressed by the amount of coverage WorldNetDaily has given us.”
WND will now share equal status with other media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Huffington Post.
“This struggle to obtain press credentials with the United Nations should illustrate to all Americans just how important and unique the U.S. First Amendment is,” WND CEO Joseph Farah said. “I’m gratified the U.N. finally saw the light, but this process has been harmful to WND, depriving our audience of more than 8 million Americans of reporting on activities for which their taxpayer dollars are paying.”
For almost a year, WND had sought such status after being denied accreditation to the U.N. Climate Change Conference held last November in Copenhagen.
At that time, WND correspondent Jerome Corsi was blocked from access to the U.N. forum because of an alleged association with the non-profit Western Journalism Center. Such an association with a non-profit “political advocacy” organization was a disqualifier, the U.N. said.
WND publisher and founder Joseph Farah attempted in vain to explain to Axel Wuestenhagen, director of the conference media accreditation, that the website was no longer affiliated with WJC.
The United Nations stood by its decision, insisting its information on WND was current.
As such, WND had to rely on secondary sources to cover the event.
Farah firmly believed the U.N. really rejected WND’s application because of its past history of reporting critical of the world body. His continuing battle with the U.N. was likened to David fighting Goliath.
Since then, the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, which oversees media accreditation, decided to “update” its criteria for “evaluating” Internet organizations. DPI had been under repeated pressure from the U.N. Correspondents Association on how the world body treated “new media.”
The updated rules and a new review of WND’s news gathering activities resulted in the decision to accredit WND to the United Nations.
The U.N.’s decision echoes earlier moves made by the White House and Capitol Hill.