Today, the Central Registry announced the ways in which journalists can exercise their right for free access to information after the Government adopted a decision on the 26th session.
The Government’s decision states that the Central Registry and the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre should allow journalists free access to public data sheets issued by these institutions within 30 days.
Journalists are in dispute over whether the requirements should specify what research topics will be required for the documents.
“The approach will allow every journalists who submits a written request with a signature and stamp from the editor-in-chief of the medium in which he or she is employed, with an explanation of the researchers purpose the public document is for”, reads the decision.
The director of the Central Registry, Marija Boskovska- Jankovski, said that she does not know why it was necessary to state this explanation for the journalists and that it was the Government’s decision.
“As an institution, we should protect ourselves and we should know what information is needed for,” said Boskovska- Jankovski.
The Government’s decision also states that the Central Registry and the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre must accurately indicate in clear and in a public space that the requested document is for research purposes should be not abused for other purposes.
Boskovska- Jankovski informed that journalists will have the opportunity to receive 2.000 pieces of information at an 80 percent discount than the Central Registry’s tariff.
Government spokesman, Mile Bosnjakovski said in a statement for Nova TV that journalists will not have to state the topic on which they are working on, but give a general direction on what kind of research they are pursuing.
“We will not monitor journalists research, they will only need to give a general summary for the documents they are looking for,” said Bosnjakovski.
The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macedonia “. The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.