Public response to correspondence from JSC Power Plants of North Macedonia (ESM)
Today was received the letter from ESM with the subject “ESM to all media” in which you inform the Association and the media regarding the previous publication of the Research Reporting Laboratory (IRL) on topics related to the supply of fuel oil for the needs of ESM.
In the information that you have forwarded to AJM and all media except your articles within the letter and related to the previously mentioned text of the IRL, ESM also makes an attempt to evaluate the work of this media. In the received information you say: “The purpose of this e-mail is for the media and journalists to gain a wider insight into the occurrence of texts that are partly based on facts, but partly on twisting them and deliberately creating a context that implies illegal work, omissions or ulterior motives and interests.”
Your approach to assessing professional and ethical standards in journalism is unacceptable and creates bad practice, especially since it is a state-owned company. We consider this attitude in which an attempt is made, through the involvement of other media, to evaluate the journalistic work and to suggest unprofessionalism of a certain editorial office, as a negative precedent that can lead to the establishment of censorship or just censorship in the journalistic space. In this way, space is left in the future for other companies, institutions, municipalities, ministries to follow this negative practice and to do work that is not in their domain, and this may negatively affect the freedom of expression.
Of course, it is your right to have a public denial, correction or response if you feel that you do not agree with any media post. You also have the opportunity to make complaints to self-regulatory media organizations and bodies such as the Media Ethics Council of Macedonia (SEMM) or the AJM Honor Council, which are most competent to assess whether a particular media content complies with the Code of Journalists.