European Federation of Journalists

North Macedonia: We urge authorities to cease harassment of journalist Furkan Saliu

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined four international media freedom organisations and its six affiliates in the SafeJournalist network in demanding that the authorities in Northern Macedonia put an end to the harassment of journalist Furkan Saliu. Here is the letter we sent on 8 May to the Minister of the Interior, Pance Toskovski, and the President of the VMRO-DPMNE right-wing party, Hristijan Mickoski. Dear Minister for Internal Affairs Mr. Pance Toskovski, Dear President of VMRO DPMNE Mr. Hristijan Mickoski, The undersigned media freedom and freedom of expression organisations are writing to express our grave concern at the harassment…

North Macedonia: Ruling against Investigative Reporting Lab and its editor must be overturned

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins other organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) today in expressing shared dismay at a recent defamation verdict by a judge in North Macedonia which recommends shutting down one of the country’s leading investigative media outlets and expects this damaging ruling to be swiftly overturned on appeal. Our organisations warn that this ruling – and the alarming recommendation by the judge – represent a clear violation of international standards, a fundamental failure of the recognition of public interest of the journalism in question, and an attack on…

North Macedonia: EFJ demands transparent justice in Kocho Angjushev case

The defamation lawsuit brought by North Macedonia’s former deputy PM Kocho Angjushev must be conducted with the utmost transparency. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM) in condemning the decision by Judge Jovanka Spirovska Paneva on 13 October to close a hearing in the libel case. Journalists and members of the public had to leave the courtroom. The EFJ supports the legal action brought by AJM-ZNM to denounce this decision. АЈM-ZNM has submitted an application to the Judicial Council to challenge the decision of Judge Jovanka Spirovska Paneva. The case is…

North Macedonia: Press freedom mission finds fragile progress in need of further support

From 5-7 June 2023, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) took part in a fact-finding mission to North Macedonia, organised by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM). While we recognise progress for media freedom and journalists’ working conditions in recent years, this improvement is fragile and must be consolidated. We welcome the recent adoption of amendments to the Penal Code. Under the new provisions, developed in collaboration with local civil society, attacks on journalists will…

North Macedonia: EFJ condemns inappropriate behaviour of state officials towards journalists

In recent days, state officials in North Macedonia have verbally abused journalists and media outlets on several occasions. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in North Macedonia, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), in condemning the inappropriate behaviour of public figures and reminding them of the moral obligations that go with public office. Since 16 January, the Prime Minister, several ministers and the president of a political party have used degrading language against several journalists who were doing their job by asking questions, sometimes embarrassing, to prominent public figures in North Macedonia. Specifically on 16 January,…

North Macedonia: A majority of female journalists face online harassment

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is worried by the results of a new study by the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analysis (PINA). The results reveal an important issue when it comes to the protection and prosecution of online harassment against women journalists in North Macedonia. In collaboration with its affiliates, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM) and the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), the EFJ called for the adoption of the long-awaited amendments to the Criminal Code in North Macedonia to deal with all types of attacks against journalists ex officio. According to the survey…

North Macedonia: Parliament urged to make protection of journalists a priority

The Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) just launched a campaign to call for the urgent adoption of the amendments to the Criminal Code to better protect journalists. The changes were announced in July 2021 by Justice Minister Bojan Maricic but have not yet been passed. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urged the Parliament not to further delay these important reforms. The EFJ had welcomed the introduction of the amendments last summer considered as “an important step forward for press freedom in the country”. Requested by the journalists’ association and union in North Macedonia for several years, the provisions, if voted, will help…

North Macedonia: Justice Minister introduces amendments to increase protection of journalists

Penalties for attacks on journalists will be toughened in North Macedonia, Justice Ministry Bojan Maricic announced on 27 July 2021. The amendments to the Criminal Code are expected to be passed in the early autumn. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in North Macedonia, the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), in welcoming an important step forward for press freedom in the country. The amendments have come at the request of the journalists’ association and union and will help reduce cases of attacks and threats against…

Macedonian court refuses to recognise journalist’s status

On 27 April 2017, during protest in Skopje, which later resulted in the storming of the Parliament building by nationalist demonstrators, a total of 21 journalists were threatened or barred from reporting at the scene. One of them, Goran Trpenovski, was dismissed yesterday by the Civil Court in Skopje, which did not recognise his status as a journalist. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate AJM/ZNM challenge the interpretation of the Macedonian court and call on it to review its decision. Goran Trpenovski covered the events of 27 April 2017 for the online media Sakamdakazham (sdk.mk). He was…

North Macedonia: Union secures Covid-19 aid package for media workers

A special aid package to protect journalists wages and support struggling media is to be introduced in North Macedonia thanks to the efforts of the union representing the country’s media workers. The North Macedonian government accepted wide ranging proposals put forward by the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) to help journalists and media cope with the harsh conditions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have congratulated their affiliate, the SSNM, in negotiating the plan. Applicable to June, July and August, the plan will provide subsidies…

North Macedonia: online media Vidi Vaka endorsed the European Charter on journalists’ working conditions

The Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) hold a press conference today in Skopje to announce their new collaboration with Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, NGO Onlimit Media and Vidi Vaka portal, on two major texts for journalists’ labour rights. The four parties signed the Charter on journalists’ working conditions and the draft Fair Working Contract for journalists and media workers in digital media. By doing so, they commit to respect all journalists’ and media workers’ labour rights, their freedom of expression as well as ethical and professional standards.…

North Macedonia: EFJ welcomes initiative aiming to strengthen self-regulation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed today the registry on self-regulation of online media in North Macedonia, which was announced yesterday by the Council of Media Ethics (CMEM) together with the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM). “We believe that journalists’ organisations should promote for the public benefit high ethical standards in journalism, based on five principles: truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and honesty, humanity, and accountability,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “That is why the EFJ supports this professional initiative aiming to strenghten media self-regulation in North Macedonia.” The initiative will promote self-regulation of online media by…

Macedonia: Election Commission authorised to fine media for ‘Unbalanced Reporting’

Several amendments to the Electoral Code were passed  by the Macedonian Parliament on 25 July 2018 in a fast-track procedure, as a result of a political agreement between the leaders of the four main political parties. An amendment to the Electoral Code empowers the State Election Commission to register and monitor online media reporting on the elections. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its Macedonian affiliates, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM), the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), joined by the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, in criticising the new Electoral Code, as the…

Media freedom is top priority, says government of Republic of Macedonia

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was invited to meet important stakeholders on media including the leadership of the host, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM)  on 8-9 May 2018 in Skopje. The meetings were part of a project on building capacity of  the AJM. The EFJ also met Tamara Chausidis, the President of the Trade Union Of Macedonian Journalists And Media Workers (SSNM) and some photo journalists  to coordinate common work and discuss some major challenges photo journalists face in Macedonia. On 9 May, Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director together with Dragan Sekulovski, Director of the AJM met with Robert Popovski,…

Republic of Macedonia: High time to protect Media Freedom

Report on the April 2017 Joint International Mission In a joint mission, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), and the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) observed the situation of journalists and media workers in the Republic of Macedonia. The on-site research in Macedonia in April 2017 was motivated by the deterioration of the safety of journalists through the increasing number in verbal and physical attacks. This report indicates that through complex set of mechanism the previous government, as well as authorities, gave their…

Attacks and pressures on journalists in Slavonski Brod (Croatia), Skopje (Macedonia) and Partes (Kosovo)

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is joining the call of the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in condemning the attacks and pressures on journalists, which happened in the last few days in Slavonski Brod (Croatia), Skopje (Macedonia) and Partes (Kosovo) : On Wednesday, August 23, journalists Visnja Ruzojcic from HRT and Aleksandra Primorac from the portal SBplus were physically attacked in Slavonski Brod. According to the reports of the SBplus portal, the journalists Primorac and Ruzojcic reported on the shooting, which happened during the previous night and in which one citizen was seriously injured.…