AJM: Achievements were well highlighted, but problems persist

Source/Photo: Maja Vasic-Nikolic, safejournalists.net

NORTH MACEDONIA – Ranked: 92 (+ 3 places)

We talked to Deniz Sulejman, researcher in Association of Journalists of Macedonia

The report highlights two major achievements in the field of self-regulation and the rights of journalists. In this direction it is stated that: “In the field of enhancing self-regulation and working standards of the professional journalists, there are two ground-breaking achievements: A Register of Professional Online Media which has about 120 members was created by the Council of Media Ethics (CMEM) and AJM. The initiative promotes self-regulation of online media by committing them to respect the Code of Journalists and publishing decisions by the CMEM. The Charter on journalists’ working conditions and the draft Fair Working Contract for journalists and media workers in digital media was also signed by Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) in collaboration with AJM and the CMEM, committing to respect all journalists’ and media workers’ labor rights, their freedom of expression as well as ethical and professional standards”.

One of the problems which were noted in Reporters Without Borders’ report is the funding of the media by municipalities, despite the ban on this practice. In addition, the buying of space in the media for promoting the achievements of the Government is criticized, something that was condemned by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia as well.

Regarding the safety of journalists, it is noted that the number of physical attacks on journalists and media workers had decreased, but that the number of cyber-attacks was on the rise. The stagnation of the reform in the public service was criticized as well.