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.
The Charter was drafted as a guideline on working conditions by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and signed on 12 February 2019 in Belgrade (Serbia) by 14 journalists’ organisation. It contains 10 articles condensing the main principles affecting the working relationship between journalists, their employers and the public opinion as final beneficiary of their production.
The Fair Working Contract supported by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) includes specific clauses for the profession directly protecting workers’ rights, such as the right to refuse an assignment if it violates ethical and professional standards or improved copyright protection.
The Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) announced that both texts will be included as non-binding criteria for media entering the newly-created “Register of Professional Online Media“.
“We hope that this initiative will help to raise awareness that social and economic stability as well as proper working conditions are prerequisite for professional and objective journalism. Only journalists with integrity can play their watchdog role in the public interest”said Darko Duridanski, SSNM project coordinator.
“We cannot have properly informed public if the journalists work in hard and unsafe conditions. Managers and journalists must operate and cooperate on highest the level, and protect each other. The charter that we are signing today is outlining the contours of this cooperation and give direction on how it should look like”, added Mladen Cadikovski, AJM president.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the very positive step towards better enforcement of journalists’ labour rights in Macedonia and stronger media self-regulation: “We encourage other media to follow the example of Vidi Vaka. Macedonian journalists and media workers need guarantees that they will enjoy a decent working environment. SSNM and AJM are working hard on improving the situation.”