Skopje, 22.01.2018 – The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) presented today the Report on the Indicators for the degree of media freedom and the journalists’ safety for the year 2017.
The study analyzes the legal framework related to freedom of speech, the socioeconomic position, and the safety of journalists.
It identifies the key issues and challenges and recommends measures that need to be taken with aim to improve the situation in the media sector in Macedonia.
President of AJM, Naser Selmani, said that in the last year in Macedonia journalists were blackmailed, persecuted, beaten, received death threats, they were declared as traitors, etc.
“Violators attack journalists physically and verbally because they want to intimidate and silence them, in order not to reveal the truth about the unlawful behavior of the Government,” he said.
According to the report, 18 attacks against journalists were registered last year in Macedonia, out of which 13 were physical and verbal attacks, while the others were insults, interfering in the work and destruction of properties.
Selmani also expressed concern that the Public Prosecution has so far failed to file charges before courts for violence against journalists and hate speech.
“The well-known triplets of VMRO-DPMNE, which carried out campaigns of insulting and intimidating journalists, remain unpunished,” Selmani said.
Along with the lack of safety at their work place, journalists in Macedonia are working under extremely poor conditions. They have low and irregular wages, and they do not have contracts for permanent employment, which negatively affects their professional independence.
The report notes that the media legislation in Macedonia is not fully in line with the best European practices and there were no improvements in this regard in 2017.
This study analyzes in detail the situation of freedom of speech and media freedom in Macedonia in the last three months of 2016 and the first nine months of 2017.
It is a complement to the last year’s study of the AJM “Indicators for the level of media freedom and the safety of journalists in Macedonia”. The main purpose of this second study is to identify the changes and make comparison with the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety since 2016.
The report is produced within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety, implemented by national organisations of journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The article was originally published by AJM and Safejournalists.net and republished with permission.