15 May 2005

We received several supportive remarks about an item in the last issue about a TV market used as a travel junket, including from some DPI staff who prefer to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. Understandably, however, we received a response from Ahmed Fawzi, Director of News and Media Division who argued that although the number of the team was indeed "30 strong" as mentioned in the U.N. press release, he clarified that they represented 12 agencies. "Only 3 people went from DPI this year and that is more than usual I admit, because of the fact that MIP-TV had decided to dedicate a full day to the 60th anniversary of the U.N. and we were coordinating the booth." What our experienced colleague was trying to say was that from his Division's viewpoint as well as that of DPI as a whole, to have had this kind of high profile at MIP-TV this year, "and my colleagues worked very hard to make our presence there a success."

Following that fair and persuasive reply, we received also understandably a "rebuttal" from Susan Farkas "Chief, Radio and Television Service," in which she accused us of being "dismissive" of the television market, unaware of the Secretary General's Global Media AIDS Initiative and informed us how Mr. Tharoor "convened and moderated the meeting on behalf of Mr. Annan who was unable to attend" (as if the Secretary General was expected to go to THAT market too). Then Ms. Farkas, who just joined the U.N. less than two years ago devoted a paragraph instructing us on the need for U.N. visibility and the mandate of DPI.