Skopje, 2 November 2023 – Regarding yesterday’s edition of the show “Samo vistina” (Only Truth), aired on Kanal 5 TV, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services points out that debates on political and social issues should be contributing to the realization of freedom of expression and culture of tolerance, and must never incite intolerance.

All participants in the public discourse, politicians and public office holders in particular, should be aware of the weight of the words uttered in public and should refrain from statements, especially through the media, that undermine dialogue among the diverse ethnic groups in society.

Labelling media outlets and journalists, as Prime Minister’s advisor on Euro-Atlantic values Ismet Ramadani did in yesterday’s show, has a negative impact on the freedom of the media and violates journalists’ dignity. Politicians and public office holders have a specific responsibility towards the public and should manifest the highest level of respect for the journalistic profession and make every effort to enable the media to perform their tasks smoothly.

At the same time, media should be a space for open debate, a place where the participants in interviews, discussions and other shows shall be presenting diverse opinions and attitudes (both positive and negative). Editors, journalists and other authors should be autonomous and independent in producing the programmes and creating the editorial policy. Any interference or, in particular, interruption of a show on the part of the manager or the media owner, such as the intrusion of Kanal 5 TV manager Ivan Mirchevski in the show “Only Truth”,  constitutes an obstruction of that independence and autonomy.