After two days of deliberations, the United Nations officials at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland, agreed to give media accreditation to the DeSmogBlog, the first time in history that the UN has accredited a blog, according to UNFCCC Public Information and Media Assistant Carrie Assheuer.
“It was quite the ordeal,” said DeSmogBlog Editor Richard Littlemore. “The UN system is set up to accommodate mainstream media and it’s not an institution that’s designed to be flexible or innovative.”
But after Littlemore showered the UNFCCC press office with examples of DSB citations in everything from the Globe and Mail to the New York Times, Assheuer, a Canadian who was already familiar with the DeSmogBlog, finally acknowledged the blog’s function as an online media outlet within the UN’s now-more-flexible definition.
“I thought that the decision was particularly important because there are no other English-speaking reporters from Canada covering this conference,” Littlemore said. “So, the UN is saying, ‘We only deal with old media,’ and the old media barons are saying, ‘We don’t care enough about climate change to send a reporter.’ It was the perfect prescription for keeping Canadians in the dark about what’s happening in Poznan.”
DeSmogBlog co-founder James Hoggan said he was delighted to hear of Littlemore’s success. “It’s another happy side effect of setting up the DeSmogBlog,” Hoggan said. In going to Poznan – and thanks to Richard’s stubbornness – we have made the world a little more welcoming to new media. This isn’t just about climate change. It’s about access to information and free speech, and on that count, we’re happy to be making good things happen.”