The Association of Journalists of Macedonia this weekend at the Alexander Palace Hotel in Skopje held regular non-election assembly at which several topics related to the work of the Association were discussed, as well as the problems faced by journalists in the past year.
The Assembly was opened by the President of AJM, Mladen Chadikovski, who in his speech referred to the work of journalists and media during the coronavirus pandemic and presented the measures taken by the Association and donors to help journalists safely perform their work tasks.
Faced with huge percentage of impunity in cases of attacks on journalists, President Chadikovski presented the Declaration on the cessation of impunity for attacks and threats against journalists and media workers. The declaration calls on institutions, political parties as well as business entities to respect the freedom of expression of journalists and media freedoms in accordance with constitutional, legal and international legal norms and standards. “Laws governing the media sphere should be in line with the needs of journalists, the media and citizens, not the centres of power,” it said.
CHADIKOVSKI ANNOUNCES PROTESTS
The Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Skopje was asked to do its job responsibly and accountably when it comes to cases of attacks on journalists, perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers to be brought to justice, while for victims of such crimes to be provided with appropriate treatment if necessary.
In addition, the executive government was called upon to create safe environment for journalists to do their job, freely and independently without any pressure for what they report on.
“In the cases when journalists are attacked, there is almost no resolved case, and the state failed in the case of April 27. Dozens of colleagues were brutally attacked, and the institutions not only did not initiate any proceedings, but also dared to try to reject the lawsuit of our colleagues through the State Attorney’s Office. This is unacceptable, when politicians are attacked, institutions react promptly, and when journalists are attacked, officials hide in their offices, as if we are some kind of social evil. We react sharply to this and additionally, if the ignorant continues, or the attempt to reject our arguments for this lawsuit, but also for all other attacks, I announce that we will organize protest march against the double standards with which journalists are treated,” Chadikovski said.
REFORMS AND INCREASED COOPERATION WITH MRTV
The President of AJM announced that through intensified activity he will try to unblock the media reforms and will insist on selecting the highest quality staff for the Program Council of MRT and the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audio-visual Media Services.
“But we will not wait for this to happen by itself, in the meantime we will try through enhanced cooperation and talks with the management of MRTV to open space for additional professionalism of the public service, by opening the doors of the public service and using the resources that exist there,” said the president of AJM.
At the end of his speech, Chadikovski singled out the creation of the Register of Professional Online Media (Promedia.mk) as one of the most important activities that were implemented in 2019. “This is process that must continue. The next thing we are working on is the creation of Journalistic Code for Online Media, which will be parallel process of updating the current Code of Journalists of Macedonia,” he said.
The Executive Director of AJM, Dragan Sekulovski in his speech before the members presented the AJM Work Strategy for 2019-2022, and then presented them and by a majority vote were adopted the Narrative Report on the work of AJM for 2019 and the Financial Report on 2019.
In addition, the proposed amendments to the Rulebooks and the Statute of AJM were placed on the agenda. The statute adopted several decisions that regulate the status of associate members and the conditions under which they can join, and at the request of the membership committee was extended the deadline after which it can decide to admit new members to the Association. This decision envisages increasing the deadline from 3 to 7 days in order to enable more detailed review of the Commission for each newly registered member. A decision was adopted which will be clarified in the next period, and provides the exclusion of members of the Association due to flagrant violation of the code of ethics.