World Bank Disses UPI


The regular emails one gets from the World Bank’s Online Media Briefing Center are often a welcome sedate, bookish break from angry Press Clips readers and former Nigerian officials offering me a chance at lucrative financial opportunities. What better break from press releases than reports about bank regulation in Indonesia or development assistance in impoverished rural China?

That was until today, when the World Bank told email readers:

    We would like to inform you that the OMBC policy regarding embargo breaks has been applied to United Press International (UPI) after a UPI reporter on March 11 failed to honor the embargo notice on the World Bank East Asia Report on Infrastructure. As a result, all reporters affiliated with UPI have been suspended from the OMBC for six months.

Sure, it’s not quite Fitty Cent and Da Game, but as World Bank emails go, this is a Glock-full. The Bank goes on to explain how the early access that we media types get to its reports is to help us with our reporting, not to allow us to scoop other organizations who obey the rules. “In the case of an embargo break, the reporter and their organization will be denied access to the Online Media Briefing Center, and will be taken off distribution lists for all other Bank material, for six months,” the Bank said.

I have no idea what the report on East Asian infrastructure said — if the ending was a surprise, if any of the jokes were funny, if the male and female leads showed any real chemistry. But even if I did I couldn’t tell you. So don’t even ask. Nope. Shhhhh.