The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) reacts to the statements of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev from the latest interview published in the weekly Fokus, regarding the documentary series “Redakcija” and the first episode entitled “Conspiracy against the Air” of the Investigative Reporting Laboratory (IRL).
“Prime Minister Zaev, in response to a question in this interview, said that ‘the second side should be asked as well… it is okay to ask FENI or someone else mentioned by fuel oil users’ I do not see both sides in the documentary.’ He went on to say that he doubted the ease with which he could say anything without argument in connection with the IRL’s investigative story on the subject of journalists’ coverage of the country’s air pollution. Such a public position and comment by the Prime Minister and the President of the ruling party, related to the investigative work of journalists can raise doubts in the credibility of the work of our colleagues, and thus affect the restriction of freedom of expression. Prime Minister Zaev is expected to encourage investigative journalists in their efforts to uncover possible abuse of institutions as a mechanism to prevent corruption, and then the law enforcement agencies to react,” the AJM said in a press release.
Such views on the work of journalists by senior government and party officials, it said, could create a “cooling effect” and thus discourage journalists from working on issues related to corruption and abuse of power.