The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) condemns the ignorant attitude of the Department of Public Relations and the General Secretariat of the Government towards the media related to the recently adopted government decision to merge the concessions for the mine Ilovica.
AJM received several complaints from journalists who, despite all attempts, failed to get details about what happened at the Government session held on June 27, 2023, at which the decision was proposed and adopted, for which there is huge public interest. Motivated by the importance of the issues for the citizens, several fellow journalists asked to get more details about how the discussion went, based on an insight into transcript notes from this session.
Instead of an answer, the Office of the Government Spokesperson shared with the public an excuse that according to Article 94, paragraph 6 of the Government’s Rules of Procedure, they cannot provide excerpts from the transcript. In order not to leave the impression that this procedure on the part of the Government is an attempt to hide information of particular importance to the public, AJM requests that it be immediately made available to journalists, and through them, to all citizens.
In addition to this, AJM also notes a serious deviation of the Government in the area of transparency, considering that the official website in the section for the minutes of the government sessions has not been updated for more than two months, considering that the last minutes date from May 17, 2023.
We remind you that journalists’ access to accurate and timely information is essential for citizens to make an informed choice and actively engage in public discourse. When the Government withholds details of its working sessions, it hinders the public’s ability to understand the rationale behind policy decisions and the potential implications for their lives.
We point out that informed journalists and media are vital to a functioning democracy. Without access to comprehensive information, the ability of journalists to fulfill their democratic role is severely hampered, depriving the public of an essential source of independent and diverse news.