On the occasion of May 3 – World Press Freedom Day, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, sent the following message:
“On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, we pay tribute to all professionals, journalists and media workers who, regardless of all the challenges, are on the side of the public interest and whose commitment brings the truth to the citizens.
The importance of the role of journalists and media workers is especially great in times of uncertainty, crisis or conflict. In the current coronavirus pandemic, when most citizens are protected in their homes, journalists and media workers are working every day to provide fast and accurate information. Parallel to the pandemic of the virus, there is a pandemic of fake news, so, in these extraordinary circumstances, their professionalism and objectivity is crucial.
At the same time, in order to provoke a debate on important issues and to be an indicator of the maturity of a democracy, the media should be free from fear and clientelism, exercising one of the fundamental human rights – the freedom of speech.
To develop independent and professional journalism, we need to provide better working conditions, promote trade union rights, increase security, protect journalists and media workers, and free them from economic dependence and political influence. And of course, to open the institutions even more – transparency contributes to the citizens to exercise their right to free and timely information.”