Skopje, 21 April 2020 – Further to media workers’ reactions regarding the government institutions and healthcare centers’ manner of communication and level of transparency, the Agency appeals to the Government and other competent institutions to improve their communication with the journalists, so that it can be open and can go both ways.
During a state of emergency, it is extremely important to allow journalists to do their job professionally and to give them an opportunity to ask additional questions about the answers they have received. This is the only way freedom of expression and the citizens’ right to information – i.e. access to objective, timely and comprehensive information – will not be jeopardized. At the same time, the Agency deems that the competent authorities and institutions should avoid using communication forms that, according to their format, resemble media news programmes, similar to the recent example.
At the same time, we wish to remind of the necessity that all media outlets, without exception, here also including the online media that are not included in the SEMM and ZNM’s Register of Professional Online Media, be provided with equal access to reporting, while the media, for their part, should abide by the professional standards and principles, especially when it comes to information of high public interest.
For the purpose of professional and safe performance of the tasks, the Agency appeals that maximum efforts be invested in ensuring media workers’ protection and safety.