The Association of Journalists of Macedonia received with concern the information that the editor of the national television “Kanal 5”, Goce Mihajloski, is infected with the coronavirus. We wish our colleague Mihajloski a speedy recovery, to persevere in the fight against the disease and to return to work soon.
Triggered by some irresponsible posts, mainly posted on social networks, AJM urges not to stigmatize journalists and media workers who are infected or suspected carriers of coronavirus. We remind that hate speech and calls for violence are punishable offenses regardless of whether they are published on traditional media or on social networks.
In addition, we reiterate that many journalists and media workers, due to the nature of their work, are more exposed to human contact and this makes them more vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Therefore, it is absolutely important for their personal safety and for the safety of the persons with whom they are in contact, to have provided conditions and means of work by the owners and managers of the media through which the risk of infection will be reduced.
At a time when quality journalism can save lives, it is extremely important to have accurate and timely information. In order for this to be possible, media workers need to be protected in their newsrooms, but also when reporting from the field. We remind you of the “Guidelines for safe and professional reporting on coronavirus (COVID-19)” published by AJM and CMEM, which describes the standards for safe and professional reporting during pandemic.