The Association of Journalists in Macedonia (AJM) today assessed the dismissal of journalists at media outlets owned by “Media Print Macedonia”, and called it a blow to the freedom of professional journalism.

“The dismissal of 20 employees by “Media Print Macedonia”, of which the majority are journalists who work at the daily newspaper “West”, will have a significant impact on professional journalism and freedom of the media. After the change of the Editor-in-Cheif, Goran Mihajlovski, there were new dismissals, and the management had to face the journalists who were the founders of the newspaper, and would not allow journalism or journalists to be abused, in the interest of the government. Since the new editorial team failed to use the old style of “Vest” to impose the positions and viewpoints of the government, the management decided to kill off the newspaper  instead”,reads the statement by the AJM.

The association says that MPM (Media Print Macedonia) can deal with the crisis, but only if they do not politicize the editorial policy of the newspaper.

“With the dismissals, the company’s management are not addressing the causes of the crisis. They should not look to the founders of the newspaper, that made “West” the most read newspaper in Macedonia, but they should look at the new editorial policy, which has turned the newspaper into a supporter of the government. In the world today, there is still no successful media business model which justifies politicized journalism. It has not happened. The MPM is a typical example of how the media is being used as a tool to satisfy the interests of their owners and the government. Only in undemocratic countries, media relations are sacrificed for politics and business”, said the AJM.