Improving the cooperation with the Ministry of Interior for greater accountability and transparency

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The Association of Journalists of Macedonia and the Office of the Council of Europe today held a seminar on “Improving the cooperation between journalists and police organs for greater accountability and transparency” attended by journalists and representatives of the Ministry of Interior working in the domain of public relations.

This event gave the opportunity to journalists, members of the Ministry of Interior and other media actors to discuss topics aimed at deepening cooperation in the exchange of public information.

In his introductory part, Mladen Chadikovski stressed the importance of continuing the cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and journalists, in order to perform safe and free journalistic work.

As an Association of Journalists, we are always on the side of accurate information, on the side of professional journalism, and I believe that thanks to this cooperation, the communication with the Ministry of Interior will rise to the top. In order for us to be able to do our job safely and freely, we need the support of the Ministry of Interior. “I believe that we are going in a positive direction and that it will remain that way,” Chadikovski said.

Aleksandra Bogdanovska spoke about the fruitful cooperation between AJM and the Council of Europe and publicly expressed gratitude for the active cooperation in the past through jointly organized online events, and after a long time, the cooperation continues through feasible in-person initiatives to discuss these current topics affecting journalists and media workers.

Toni Angelovski, Assistant Minister for Public Relations (spokesman) at the Ministry of Interior in his speech stressed that it is essential to use the police bulletin, which has the basic information needed to inform the public. However, if the journalist needs more detailed information, in that case, the services of the Ministry of Interior will provide the information within their capabilities.

Journalist Ognen Chancharevikj, in his presentation, addressed the topic “Timely and accurate provision of information as a prerequisite for objective information (analysis).” He stressed that when journalists report on topics related to crime, there is no room for sensationalism and journalists should strictly adhere to ethical principles, especially for these sensitive topics.

Mirjana Popovikj, a Council of Europe expert, spoke on “The practice in neighbouring countries when it comes to co-operation between interior ministries and media workers”, stressing the importance of co-operation between police and media workers, as a follow-up to previous interlocutors. She pointed out the example of cooperation between the two parties in Montenegro, where for its needs, a Special Commission for cooperation has been established whose goal and task is to influence the reduction of threats and violence against journalists.

“We must work to improve communication between journalists and the police. The problematic relationship is causing negative effects,” Popovikj said.

Speakers at the event were AJM President Mladen Chadikovski, Aleksandra Bogdanovska, Senior Project Manager, Council of Europe Program Office in Skopje, Mirjana Popovikj, Council of Europe Expert, Toni Angelovski, Assistant Minister for Public Relations (Spokesperson) MoI and Ognen Chancharevikj, a journalist at Telma TV / VOA Voice of America in the Macedonian language. The moderator of the event was the AJM Executive Director, Dragan Sekulovski.

At this event was promoted the analysis entitled “IMPROVEMENT OF COOPERATION BETWEEN JOURNALISTS AND POLICE ORGANS FOR GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY VAND TRANSPARENCY.” The analysis will soon be publicly available in Macedonian, Albanian and English languages.

After the presentations, a group discussion followed.

* The event is organized by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, as a grant organization within the joint program action of the EU / Council of Europe “Freedom of expression and freedom of the media in North Macedonia (UFREX 2)” within the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 – 2022.“