Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs banks on obscure website ‘EU Reporter’


In August this year, an individual named Mawlana Mohammad Abed Ali, chairman of ‘Election Monitoring Forum’, an election monitoring body in Bangladesh came under media’s radar. Back in 2018, this same person had brought several dubious individuals as international election observers, while most of them were later proven to be fake.

This time Mawlana Mohammad Abed Ali resurfaced in news headlines in Bangladesh when he met several senior officials of the Bangladesh government, including the Chief Election Commissioner being accompanied by a number of foreigners who were proclaimed to be election observers. None of the foreign nationals have any past experience as election observer, while few of them, including Nick Powell, who is described as ‘Political Editor’ of a obscure website named EU Reporter have already generated serious doubts about how and why people like such individuals have been brought by Abed Ali to monitor the upcoming general elections in Bangladesh.

Some people also are asking – who paid the travel cost and accommodation for the so-called election observers and how the Election Commission in Bangladesh has given undue importance to these people. It is well-anticipated that such activities of attempting to portray fake people as international election observers would put the entire election process into serious doubt.

As Abed Ali’s attempt of once again fooling the world by bringing-in fake election observer fell flat due to extensive coverage in the local media, particularly several investigative reports published in Blitz, one individual in his team of so-called international election observer namely Nick Powell, who is described as ‘Political Editor’ on an obscure website named EU Reporter came under further investigation of Blitz.

Three months before arriving in Bangladesh as an “international election observer”, Nick Powell sat with Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam in Brussels where the junior minister without realizing that EU Reporter was an obscure website with bunch of fake journalists not only gave huge importance to Powell, possibly it was when Shahriar Alam had offered Nick Powell to visit Bangladesh at the invitation of Mawlana Mohammad Abed Ali as an international election observer and fool the Election Commission in Bangladesh as well as international community.

Although Nick Powell’s desire of playing the role of an international election observer fell flat, he and his obscure website EU Reporter has been continuing giving service to Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs by regularly publishing reports and articles.

While Shahriar Alam is serving as the State Minister for Foreign Affairs for many years, it is surprising as to why he or anyone in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not reach any legitimate media outlet other than an obscure and unknown website – EU Reporter.

It may be mentioned here that EU Reporter is infamous for publishing anything in exchange for US$50-100 each content. It has even no shame in publishing propaganda stuff in favor of internationally known scammers and fraudsters. To the entire team of EU Reporter, making money by serving as a propaganda machine of anyone – who would pay is the prime goal.

In a US$50-100 propaganda content, EU Reporter published a lengthy article in favor of a fraudster named Kerry Adler, despite the fact Adler’s fraudulent activities have been exposed by Blitz and few more newspapers in the world.

Searching the web, the name of EU Reporter emerged on Wikipedia. Through a careful vetting of this Wikipedia page, anyone will easily understand, this has been created by the members of this nest of fake journalists possibly by paying a few hundred dollars to one of the so-called editors of Wiki.

Most interestingly, while the Wikipedia page of EU Reporter says, “EU Reporter is a Brussels-based news website publishing content relating to the European Union, founded in 2002”, in reality, the domain of this website was purchased in 2010 and launched in 2011. Meaning, the information provided in the Wikipedia page is absolutely false.

This Wikipedia page mentions an “article” published in Politico under the title ‘Dark news: The murky world of undercover EU lobbying’ which may sound like a critical report against EU Reporter. In fact, it is not! The Politico stuff is a propaganda content, most definitely being published by EU Reporter to establish itself as a strong platform lobbying in favor of individuals, organizations and governments in the European Union.

Commenting on EU Reporter, Politico said, “EU Reporter — owned by Colin Stevens, a British former television executive who has plied his trade in the Brussels bubble of policymakers, journalists and lobbyists for two decades — pitches itself to prospective clients eager to gain traction within the EU’s halls of power”.

“Our business model is to offer political parties, businesses, NGOs, industry associations, financial institutions and governments the opportunity to use EU Reporter to influence the European political decision-making process by sponsoring coverage and the placement of positive news stories and editorial comment related to them”, the narrator says. “Use EU Reporter to influence”.”

Surprisingly, the LinkedIn profile link of Colin Steven’s of EU Reporter as stated by Politico in its so-called report does not exist!

EU Reporter is actually a nest of several unscrupulous cash-hungry individuals who are offering lobbyist services in the European Union being dressed up as journalists.

On its LinkedIn ID, EU Reporter says: “EU Reporter is widely read by law makers, policy and business decision-makers in Brussels and national capitals around the EU. The magazine is distributed to every Member of the European Parliament, thousands of senior officials in the EU institutions and member states’ representations, as well as in over one hundred diplomatic missions in Brussels and in NATO headquarters. It is also widely distributed at high-level conferences, in hotels in Brussels’ EU quarter and in think-tanks on both sides of the Atlantic. It is distributed in the UK Westminster Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly as well as to individual subscribers”.

Anyone with only a minimal experience of investigative journalism will understand the actual agenda behind the above statement.

The website of EU Reporter says, this site is owned by EU Reporter Media & Communications Ltd with business address at 77 Lower Camden Street, Sandyford, Dublin, D02 XE80, Ireland and registered office at The Black Church, St Mary’s Place, Dublin 7, D07 P4AX, Ireland (Company No: 659786, VAT No: IE 3732102TH).

People behind EU Reporter:

On its “Our Team” page, there are several names as the team of this website. Let me give further details.

Colin Stevens is the President and Editor in Chief of EU Reporter. His bio says, “Colin Stevens founded EU Reporter in 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience as a TV producer and journalist working in both television and radio for BBC, ITV, SKY, CNN, Channel 4, S4C and JN1.TV. He has won numerous awards including New York Film and Television Festival, Golden Video Award, BAFTA Best News & Actuality Reporting, and Brighton Wildlife Film Festival Best Documentary.   He is a former news editor and editor of related programs at ITV Wales and was deputy CEO of Quadrant Media & Communications. He is a past president of the Press Club Brussels (2020-2022) and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Zerah Business School (Malta and Luxembourg) for leadership in European journalism”.

First of all, there was nothing called EU Reporter in 2008. The domain of this website was purchased in 2010 and it was launched on August 9, 2011. Moreover, Colin Stevens’ claim of working in BBC, ITV, SKY, CNN and Channel 4 is outrageously bogus.

All other individuals claiming to be journalists with long-career in EU Reporter are also false.

EU Reporter was first owned by a company named Half Tidy Limited with address at Rue Wiertz 31, 1050 Brussels, Belgium and registered office at 34 Wellfield Road, Cardiff, CF24 3PB. United Kingdom.

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Sonjib Das
Sonjib Das
Sonjib Das in a Staff Correspondent of Blitz.

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