Reporters Without Borders: Senior government officials threaten and insult journalists

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Reporters without Borders ranked Macedonia 92nd in its latest report with an
average score of 31.28 points.
Macedonia ranked even worse than Gambia, Haiti and Kyrgyzstan on this ranking
list, and the report emphasizes that senior government officials do not stop
threatening and insulting journalists.
“However, the local municipalities are allowed to advertise in local media and it
remains a tool for pressure. There was also a potentially risky move from the ruling
party to pay advertisements in the media in order to advertise the achievements of
the government. This practice was condemned by the Association of Journalists of
Macedonia (AJM),” reads the RSF report.
“In the field of enhancing self-regulation and working standards of the professional
journalists, there are two ground-breaking achievements: A Register of Professional
Online Media which has about 70 members was created by the Council of Media
Ethics (CMEM) and AJM. The initiative promotes self-regulation of online media by
committing them to respect the Code of Journalists and publishing decisions by the
CMEM. The Charter on journalists’ working conditions and the draft Fair Working
Contract for journalists and media workers in digital media was also signed by Trade
Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) in collaboration with
AJM and the CMEM, committing to respect all journalists’ and media workers’ labor
rights, their freedom of expression as well as ethical and professional standards,”
RSF said.
RSF also added that the number of the physical attacks on journalists declined, and
regrettably senior government officials have an engrained tendency to threaten and
insult journalists and there is a growing practice of cyber-bullying and verbal abuse.

According to the Press Freedom Index in the neighboring countries, Greece ranks
65th, Kosovo 70th and Albania 84th. Next is Serbia, 93rd, Montenegro 105th and
Bulgaria 111th.

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