Journalists and media associations strongly condemn the gross insults and disqualifications towards IRL journalists in today’s announcement to the media of the company “Brako”, and in connection with the latest episode of the Investigative Reporters Laboratory (IRL) entitled “Murder in Tetovo”.
The author of this announcement, instead of explaining to the public, denying individual theses from the show, and giving answers to the serious accusations for which there are ongoing procedures of the investigative authorities, is making an attempt at censorship. According to the tone of the announcement, it is obvious that the goal is to publicly discredit critical journalists and create a culture of fear when mentioning economically powerful companies:
“… monstrous ideas of the IRL group, which with the last false construction showed that it is a shame for people who work professionally in journalism and that it is clearly becoming cancer for the healthy economic tissue of the state”, is stated in the part of the announcement.
This way of communication unequivocally represents pressure on investigative journalism and an attempt to discourage all journalists and media to be interested in and investigating topics related to corruption, the rule of law, and abuse of power.
We remind you that this past week there were several reactions (including from the public prosecutor’s office) that referred to the mentioned research story, and all of them, instead of pointing out or denying the published information, were full of discredits and insults, which is an inadmissible public communication.
We also call on the media to have a social responsibility, to work in the interest of the public and citizens, and not to succumb to the pressures exerted by economic powers on the owners of the media.
The guild associations from Macedonia will also inform the partner associations, the International and European Federation of Journalists about the pressures on investigative journalists and the attempts to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust towards the media.
We remind you that if any citizen, including company owners or prosecutors, who have any problem with a media report from any media, there are legal protection mechanisms, such as a request for correction or denial. Apart from this, media self-regulatory mechanisms are also available through the Council of Honor at AJM and the Council for Ethics in the Media in Macedonia (CMEM).