Journalist protest: Solidarity to greater rights for media workers
“Insulting journalists is an underestimation of the citizens”, “We work for the citizens, not for the politicians”, “If you limit our freedom, you endanger yours”, and “Without local media, the truth is not complete”, are some of the messages that today journalists and the cameramen sent them from in front of the Government and Parliament.
On the day that marks the 77th anniversary of the existence of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, АЈМ and the Union of Journalists and Media Workers (UJMW), jointly expressed their disappointment with the attacks on journalists, the insults and humiliations by politicians, the unfair competition, the unsafe conditions in which journalists work, the poor socio-economic situation.
The messages of AJM and UJMW were sent through a public address by the presidents of both associations, as well as through journalists and media workers who were victims of physical and verbal attacks.
Requests were submitted to the Government and the Assembly of the RNM:
· To stop the negative trend of humiliating speeches by ministers, directors, politicians
· End of aggressive state PR
· Support for internal colleagues in the direction of finding a systemic solution for quality journalistic content and dignified salaries
· Ensuring conditions for quality professional journalistic products, for traditional, but also for new media
· Implementation of laws that are important in the journalistic sphere, to ensure independent and functional operation of the public service and the regulator
· Fast and efficient implementation of the laws that deal with the safety of journalists
In his address to his colleagues and the media, the president of AJM Mladen Chadikovski said:
“We demand respect for the journalistic profession, no one should underestimate and insult us because we work for the citizens. We are here to remind you that journalism is a public good, it does not belong to the Government, nor to the opposition, nor to the parties, or to the owners of the media, but belongs to the journalists. It can’t be like this anymore… Laws important to the media are not implemented, public officials have an underestimating attitude towards journalists and videographers, state PR takes over the work of journalists, videographers, and photojournalists, and the government created the largest newsroom. State institutions and their directors have a problem understanding that it is not transparency when you wait for days for an answer, and you receive a pamphlet for an announcement. Local and regional media work on the edge of survival, and the safety of journalists is not at the level we would like it to be. This must change.”
The president of UJMW Pavle Belovski addressed the audience and said: „The core of our profession is rotting. They work in really difficult conditions, with less and less staff, with low wages, and their socio-economic situation is unenviable. That is why the lack of local topics, of reports from local communities, is increasingly felt, which is a serious deficiency in a democracy. We believe that it is more than urgent to adopt solutions to improve the situation in which journalists and media workers find themselves from the inside. Solutions that will be systemic, legal, and not partial. Solutions with which employers will get quality, and our colleague’s security. We ask for conditions, not handouts.”
In front of the Assembly, the present media workers were addressed by Senat Zulbeari, vice president of АЈМ, journalists Sashka Cvetkovska, Dusica Mrdja, Slavica Filipovska, Zhaneta Zdravkovska on behalf of the regional centers of АЈМ, Vedut Osmani from the cameramen’s section. Messages were sent to solve some of the challenges faced by journalists, to stop the lawsuits against them, as well as to improve the conditions in which young journalists work throughout the country.