The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) sent a letter to the mayor of Skopje, Danela Arsovska, in connection with the post on her official Facebook page on 03.12.2023, where she refers to the right of denial, which according to what was written was not published by to the media.
Denial is a statement that corrects a news item or a claim and must not be used for public calculations by disparaging specific media. In one part of the post, it is written: “Since no media AGAIN HAD THE COURAGE to publish this rebuttal of the fake news with which the manhunt is being conducted, therefore I am publishing it here… Against the lies of the so-called “editions” without name and surname…”.
In the letter to the City of Skopje, AJM pointed out that such a statement qualifies the media, and an indecent tone was used in the expression towards journalists and media. No one has the right to say who is a media and journalist and who is not because, in that way, freedom of expression and the right to inform the public are threatened. Individuals, organizations, and institutions must use the disclaimer with particular care because when the media publishes a disclaimer, the context, the evidence provided, and the source’s overall credibility should be considered.
The abuse of denials can contribute to the loss of public trust and do more damage to reputation than to alleviate it. We emphasize that the journalistic profession, just like the profession of the mayor of the city of Skopje, is public and exists for the sake of the citizens, more precisely for their information, and the city administration should treat journalists and the media with respect and integrity.