The Association of Journalists of Macedonia – AJM condemns the public labeling of TV Telma and TV Alfa by the president of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), Ali Ahmeti. In his address to those present at the party tribune in Gostivar, in an attempt to express his displeasure with the media coverage of party activities, he publicly said that these two television stations are hostile.
This scandalous statement is harmful and can threaten the safety of journalists and media workers, thereby encouraging censorship in a wider context. The statement is particularly problematic because it comes from the president of a political party that is part of the government. It can stimulate attacks and threats against the media and journalists by party members, leading to negative consequences for freedom of expression.
We believe that public officials, and especially the leaders of political parties, should refrain from statements that label the media because this contradicts the European values that the politicians are trying to promote to the citizens. We remind Ahmeti, as well as his colleagues from other political parties, that journalists are the voice of the public, and their main task is to investigate and ask questions that are of public interest, while politicians are the ones who should provide answers to those questions and provide safe conditions for performing their work.