By not publishing the denial issued by Metamorphosis, the following portals and TV stations “Kurir”,”Lider”, “Makedonija 24” “Netpress”, “Republika”, “Plus 24” and “Kanal 5,” “Sitel” and “Nova” have violated the Code of the Journalists of Macedonia i.e. its article 3 and article 16 of the Constitution of Republic of Macedonia, concluded the Council of Media Ethics in Macedonia.
The complaint was lodged for published articles and feature taken from the press conference of the informal initiative SOS that took place on the 4th of February this year during which untruthful statements and serious allegations were said. The denials that Metamorphosis has sent to the aforementioned media, contained arguments about the untruthfulness of the accusations expressed by Nikola Srbov and the journalists Cvetin Chilimanov of MIA and Nenad Mirchevski of Republika, but these were not published by these media outlets.
By not allowing Metamorphosis to say in its defense i.e. by not publishing the denial that was sent on the 6th of February this year, the nine media outlets have done a violation, remarked the Council of Media Ethics in Macedonia. The article 3 of the Code of the Journalists in Macedonia was violated which states that the journalist shall strive to provide publication of correction, denial or reply in cases when the information published is found to be incorrect. At the same time, as CEMM concluded, the article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia was also violated i.e. paragraphs 4 and 5, which clearly state that the right to reply and to correct untrue statements or facts in the mass media is guaranteed.
The Council stressed that when it was deciding upon the complaint by Metamorphosis, that was lodged on the 10th of February, it wasn’t deciding whether there are any violations concerning the published texts or the feature stories i.e. it wasn’t authorized to determine the facts but it was deciding upon the respecting the ethical and professional journalist standards while creating the product.
The media are obliged to publish the decision by SEMM in a period of three days, according to the Rules of operation of the Council’s Press Complaints Commission otherwise, the Commission will take additional measures.