The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Council of Media Ethics (CMEM) react to insolent behavior of technical Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Rashela Mizrahi to reporters of A1on. The Minister sent a denial which was full of accusations and slander to the editorial about the text entitled “Mizrahi appointed Gruevski’s councilor as chief of her cabinet,” published by the web portal.
In the reaction, Mizrahi accuses the media of publishing a biased text, full of lies and speculation, but she essentially does not deny the news but rather labels the media, expressing disagreement with the editorial policy and the way the news was presented. In addition, she accused the portal of being in line with the political party SDSM, which had a statement on the same topic that day.
Also, Mizrahi used an inappropriate vocabulary towards the journalists of A1on, which can also be understood as an attempt to pressure the media and impose self-censorship. If the Minister believes that a journalist or media did not respect the professional and ethical standards than she can report this in CMEM or the Council of Honor of AJM, as two self-regulatory bodies.
AJM and CMEM call on public officials, and in particular government officials, to refrain from labeling and groundless denials that may in any way be interpreted as threats and attempts to influence the editorial policy of the media themselves.