A few days after the last outburst against a journalist by a state official, we are faced with a case where a question from the journalist Senat Zulbeari addressed to the Minister of Health Bekim Sali, instead of an answer, he received a “short lesson” about journalism.
During a press conference this morning at the premises of the Clinical Hospital in Tetovo, where journalists and camera operators were invited, the Minister of Health, Bekim Sali, and the director of the Clinical Hospital in Tetovo, Amir Elezi, had inappropriate communication, and a disparaging attitude towards some of the present journalists.
In relation to a question from journalists related to attacks on them by hospital security, Sali, instead of an adequate answer, said: “Let us be honest, journalism is to inform the public, there are rules, it is ethical to officially submit questions to the authorities in the hospital or to the minister. The moment you come in without warning and make recordings, treat a subject, and want to do research like it was done previously in the Ministry of Health, I think that is where you run into misunderstandings, and then there are accusations, and there is no transparency. You have to look for transparency in the right way, and you will find it. You record the elevator, and in the section of the elevator, you also search for information; there is no information because of its approach. Take it as positive criticism.”
In the past few days, AJM has loudly warned about this negative trend of unprofessional attitudes towards journalists by state officials, which is increasing, and we have already informed our partner international organizations.
We expect an apology from Minister Sali to the journalists, and we point out that the state officials are in the service of the public, and they must not have an inappropriate and offensive attitude towards the journalists and, thus, towards the entire public to whom the information should be conveyed.
This is the fifth negative outburst of a politician towards journalists and media workers in two months, indicating that these are no longer isolated incidents but have become a negative trend of an incorrect and disparaging attitude of government officials towards journalists. Such a trend will undoubtedly have a negative evaluation in the reports of the European Commission as well as other credible organizations, which will also have a negative impact on the indices for freedom of expression, in which Macedonia recorded an increase in the past years.