The security certificates that the close associates of President Gjorge Ivanov asked journalists who were summoned to briefings in his cabinet took up the media fails on their feet. They believe that this is an attempt to pressure and control the media, while from the Vodno residence claim that they did not offer anything, but that according to the legal provisions for working for classified data, journalists should have issued a security certificate from a competent state body. The security certificate obliges reporters who get certain information to not be able to publish it.
The reaction published by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) is that they expressed their concern that, according to them, the Cabinet of the President of the Republic, Gjorge Ivanov, offered certain journalists with security certificates in the name of greater transparency of the institution, assessing such a move as an attempt to pressure and control the media. As the President of AJM, Naser Selmani pointed out, most of the journalists who were summoned signed the application without having the opportunity for the rights and obligations of the holders of such certificates.
“The issuing of such certificates to journalists is putting pressure on the journalism because journalists, from pillars of public interest, turns them into state servants. Ivanov’s irreconcilable move threatens media freedom and is an attempt to control because linking journalists with security services will only strengthen censorship in the media, Selmani believes.
He urged Ivanov to order his advisers to stop issuing security certificates to journalists, and fellow journalists to immediately quit this request because they are against the code of ethics of journalists. According to Selmani, greater transparency can be achieved by more frequent contacts with journalists and the publication of all public information available to the cabinet.
Shortly afterwards, Ivanov’s office denied Selmani’s statement, pointing out that he had been wrongly elected. According to the cabinet, on the basis of the Rules of Procedure of the Security Council, the sessions may in certain cases be public. Experts, they say, can participate in the work of the Council, that is, the Security Council can establish working bodies to discuss issues related to security and defense.
“In the process of implementing the urgent reform priorities related to security issues, but also the legal obligation of the President of the Republic of Macedonia to adopt the strategy for defense, the Council plans activities in which we consider that expert journalists should also be included. According to the legal provisions for working for classified data, journalists should have issued a security certificate from a competent state body, DBKI. In the planned activities, we expect journalists to provide suggestions on how to inform the public about raising awareness and security culture for dealing with classified information due to the existence of a high risk of generating false news and the planned expiry of information that erodes institutions, “the reaction from the cabinet of the president of the state. (N.V.)