The section of photojournalists at AJM, together with representatives from the executive office, had a meeting with representatives from the communications department of the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, where they discussed the problems faced by photojournalists when covering an event of public interest.
During events organized by the Government or other public institutions, there are examples where priority is given to civil servants who document the events at the expense of representatives from the private media. This practice is discriminatory and represents unfair competition for media workers, citizens cannot always get a real picture of the events, because only one side of the story is presented, which may be biased.
The present photojournalists, members of the section, Boris Grdanoski, Gjorgi Lichovski, and Petr Stojanovski, shared some of the problems they face as photojournalists during events organized by public institutions, such as occasional interference by officials during reporting/photography, advantage in the positions of “government photojournalists”, the possibility of free download of extensive, unmarked (without watermark) photo material of the Government and other institutions by the media.
Ana Andreeva, secretary for communications, public relations, and protocol of the President of the RSM Government, indicated that the current communication system is legal with the support of the British Embassy, but also that changes to the protocols have been announced in the near future.
The director of AJM, Dragan Sekulovski, in his address regarding the mentioned problems, said that AJM requests to take into account the changes to the rules for the presence of media workers according to their needs in order to document and report events of public interest.
Designating a contact person who will be responsible for each public event with whom media workers can suggest ideas and communicate is of particular importance. The second important thing is the implementation of the watermark on government photos and videos in order to protect the copyright of photojournalists but also to make the audience aware when it comes to government or material created by a civil servant and when it is a photo or video from a photojournalist or videographer. who works in a private media or agency.
In this way, the citizens would be additionally protected from biased information, and the media would have its own content, in which the authors would be media workers, not officials from public institutions.