Press Releases

    PI/1407
    4 April 2002

    DPI LAUNCHES UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE BY E-MAIL;
    UN NEWS CENTRE WEB SITE IS UPGRADED

    NEW YORK, 3 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Department of Public Information (DPI) has launched an E-mail United Nations News Service, which will bring breaking stories and reports of other developments from the United Nations system worldwide straight to the computers and e-mail in-boxes of its subscribers around the world. The new service, which can be accessed on the recently upgraded UN News Centre Web site (www.un.org/news), is part of the continuing effort by the Department to use the advances in communications technology to deliver news and information on the United Nations to the broadest possible segments of population in different parts of the planet.

    "This is a major innovation in the way the United Nations communicates with the media worldwide", said Shashi Tharoor, the Interim Head of DPI, at the launch today at Headquarters. "The new E-mail service is designed to help our audiences around the world -- especially in the developing countries -- to keep abreast of all major UN-related developments, be it action by main United Nations bodies at New York Headquarters or activities of United Nations peace missions, aid agencies or human rights experts. Even in the nations where Internet access is not widely available, timely delivery of UN news directly to the desktops of media outlets, public offices, educational institutions or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be a step towards improving public awareness of vital United Nations events and issues."

    Subscribers to the E-mail feature can choose to receive updates on breaking news throughout the day and to customize their preferences by selecting topics and regions of their special interest. Other features include an end-of-day round-up from the UN News Service and periodic alerts about major news-making events at United Nations Headquarters in New York and elsewhere around the United Nations system. By offering direct access to United Nations news and links to key reports, speeches and quotes by United Nations officials, this service will assist the critical work carried out by United Nations Information Centres in responding to the needs of media in their region and enable them to focus more on strategic outreach.

    The E-mail UN News Service builds on the success of a recently redesigned UN News Centre portal, featuring enhanced search and navigation tools and new database-driven functions that were developed in close cooperation with the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) of the Secretariat. The technological innovations that have permitted this expanded database capacity and the e-mail delivery system are an example of in-house low-cost enterprise development made possible by the support of ITSD. The site has now been further upgraded with the launch of its French-language version (www.un.org/french/newscentre), which carries many of the same features, including "At a Glance" for one-click access to all of the headlines over the past three days and "News Focus" for links to key resolutions, reports and statements, as well as relevant United Nations offices and agencies on events and issues in the news.

    As part of its "portal" function, the site offers easy access to Web pages of key United Nations newsmakers, including the Secretary-General, his envoys and Spokesman, as well as peacekeeping operations and various UN agencies and programmes. There are also links to press releases, transcripts of press briefings at Headquarters and a wide range of multimedia products and services, including photos and programmes produced by UN Radio and Television.

    Users who have questions or comments about the UN News Centre can go to the "Contact US" page, which also contains links to "Frequently Asked Questions" and related pages on the UN Web Site.

    For questions about the UN News Centre, Contact Alex Taukatch of the News and Media Division at (212) 963-7158, or Pierre Fabian at 212-963-5850 (French).

    * *** *