Last week, journalists and media workers from Kumanovo debated with judges and public prosecutors from this city about the safety of journalists and media workers through the prism of the new legal amendments, the Criminal Code, and the Law on Civil Liability for Defamation and Insult.
At the meeting, it was openly debated how the courts and prosecutor’s offices should be proactive in communicating with the media, convene briefings for journalists, publish court decisions promptly and provide the public with an insight into the administration of justice.
The president of AJM, Mladen Chadikovski, said that the representatives of the judiciary are Masters of Information, but servants of the citizens and that they should find a way to communicate their actions with the journalists, and through that with the citizens.
The President of the Judicial and Media Council, Vasko Magleshov, presented the key amendments to the Criminal Code, in the protection of journalists, such as the qualified forms of crimes where the victims are journalists and the official prosecution of perpetrators of crimes, in which, journalists were harmed.
He emphasized that the safety of journalists and media workers is a prerequisite for the professional performance of the journalistic profession and for the objective and timely information of the citizens.
Magleshov said that he had a great experience with the Kumanovo prosecutor’s office, when at the request of a colleague from Albania, he was provided with data from a case that was completed, and for which the Kumanovo prosecutor’s office acted.
Among other things, he presents the key changes in the new Law on civil liability for defamation and insult, which, among other things, prescribes lower amounts for established defamation and insult compared to the previous law.
He said that it is important for justice to be visible not only to the parties in the procedure but also to the entire public because the decisions are made in the name of the citizens.
“Mutual communication between journalists and representatives of the judiciary directly affects the building of the image that citizens have in the judiciary and the degree of trust. According to the announcements from the Ministry of Justice, the courts will have the obligation to publish invalid judgments, which means that journalists will not have to wait for a certain judgment to become final.”
The President of the Council of Honor at AJM, Saše Dimovski, said that for years the Kumanovo court has been one of the courts that regularly publish judgments on the website and that it is a solid source of information for journalists, from which information can be drawn. on various topics.
Colleagues-journalists from Kumanovo, on the other hand, emphasized that they expect a proactive attitude from the court and the prosecutor’s office, in terms of information about the cases, about the profile of the cases that are conducted in the court, etc. In the discussion, they pointed out that the court could organize a briefing with journalists and inform them about the verdicts passed, but also about the problems the court is facing.
Judges and prosecutors shared their experiences with journalists. They emphasized that it is particularly important that the new amendments to the Criminal Code have been adopted, in the sense that they provide greater protection for journalists. They pointed out that these meetings are of particular importance for them because they get to know the challenges and problems that the journalistic profession brings with them.