The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Council for Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMЕM) strongly condemn the hate speech that we have witnessed in the past few days against several journalists, NGO`s and calls on the competent authorities and institutions, especially the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to react immediately to put an end to such attacks because they directly affect the freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
In the last few days, journalists Boris Georgievski, Ljupco Popovski and Borjan Jovanovski have been the subject of attacks, insults, defamation and hate speech on social networks because they had their own, different view of the closing words of the commentator of the match Georgia – Macedonia, Toni Stojanovski . We mention that an argumentative expression of opinion on the professionalism or unprofessionalism of a certain procedure is a free expression and must not be the subject of hate speech, just as the commentator Stojanovski must not be the subject of hate speech for his closing remarks.
Previously, the entire editorial office of the Meta Agency, as well as the employees of the Metamorphosis Foundation, were subject to attacks and hate speech, and their colleague Bobi Hristov was also subject to insults and attacks after inappropriate comments by a party president and MP.
Free media and journalists are the basis of the functioning of any democratic society, and a precondition for that freedom is the ability of media professionals to work in an atmosphere free from threats and insults.
Journalists work for the public and their actions are allowed to be criticized, but only if it is well-argued, cultural and does not provoke hate speech, calls to endanger their safety and the like.
At the same time, we call on the media, especially some of the online media, not to transmit / publish messages with propaganda content that stimulate the already boiling atmosphere.