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SecretaryGeneral reports improvement and new technology in UN news delivery

The United Nations department responsible for delivering news and information to the world has strengthened its global outreach by adopting a client-oriented approach, upgrading its use of technology, and delivering more information in more languages to more places around the world, says a report of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. As part of Mr. Annan’s reform measures, a systematic evaluation of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) was undertaken, and substantive changes were made to the delivery of communications, reports, and news, according to the publication. Innovations include the introduction of an e-mail news service delivered directly to the desktops of approximately 40,000 subscribers as of June 2005, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous six months, and the introduction of UNIFEED, a daily 10-minute TV broadcast five days a week to over 500 Associated Press TV-news subscribers. The Secretary-General Spokesman’s office has also carried out a number of activities aimed at increasing its international reach, providing print and broadcast material via daily webcasts and through UN information centres. As a result, many more news organizations have covered UN news stories, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2005 which was covered in June by all the major news wires and ABC, CNN, and BBC, said the report. During 2004, the UN webcast was viewed over 3.3 million times. With the broadening of linguistic reach one of its major goals, the Office of the Spokesman for Mr. Annan provided many of its 243 press briefings in French in addition to the English language during the past year. The radio, TV and photo services sections of DPI were responsible for creating several partnerships with news agencies. This includes a partnership with the Dutch multimedia news agency with access to 10 million viewers a day, and an agreement with Bloomberg TV to provide UN public service announcements for its Asian and Latin American feeds. The Dag Hammarskjold Library introduced an info delivery tool called “UN Pulse” which highlights the latest online information and reports issued by the UN. At the same time, the 54 local news centres played a major role in promoting the Secretary-General’s reform agenda and the MDGs by placing articles in over 200 newspapers worldwide, says the report. The public can sign up for News Centre e-mail services and access the daily webcasts from http://www.un.org/news. read more