But the decision to bar the outlet from attending a United Nations climate conference next month is seriously out of line. You don’t have to agree with anything The Rebel says to be concerned about UN officials discriminating against media organizations on the basis of their political leanings.
That’s what appears to be happening here. The Rebel applied to have a three-person team accredited to cover a major climate meeting called COP22 to be held in Marrakech, Morocco. It was rejected on the grounds that “advocacy media outlets do not qualify for accreditation,” and there’s a strong suspicion that The Rebel’s skeptical views on climate change have a lot to do with the decision.
On the face of it, this makes little sense. Most media organizations practice some form of advocacy journalism, and their views on the issues shouldn’t disqualify them from attending.
PEN Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Canadian Association of Journalists have all spoken out against this ill-judged UN decision. They’re right. Excluding The Rebel sets a troubling precedent and the UN should change its mind.