A number of journalistic texts do not deserve attention, from different reasons. However, those articles that use untruths, serious untruths, must not be overlooked. Because, regardless of its quality, every journalistic text leaves a trace. The Internet and the new digital technologies made journalistic contents widely available and with ability to remain archived. If we do not speak of such texts, if we do not point out the untruth they spread, we share the responsibility that someone, at some point in time, might use them as a source. So, in any case, we must not keep silent.
Link to original article: : Една година од црниот 24 декември [One Year Since the Black December 24th]
Date and time of publication: 24.12.2013, 10:03
Review date: 24.12.2013
Reviewer: Zoran Bojarovski
Accuracy of facts: Considering that the entire text consists of one sentence presented as journalist information, we quote it to present the entire context:
“Exactly one year ago the president of SDSM Branko Crvenkovski, togather with a mob of people, which also contained the current SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, attempted to crash into the Macedonian Parliament.”
This journalistic information does not correspond to the events of December 24, 2012. We dare say that such information questions the sanity of the Macedonian public. Even attempting to prove something that was so obvious, seems absurd.
But, let us provide some reminders. Firstly, a link to the media coverage from December 24, 25 and 26, 2012. Some of the titles read “Assembly President flagrantly suspends democracy, laws and procedures,” “Association of Journalists of Macedonia presses charges via Ministry of Interior, Veljanovski claims he did not order the security intervention,” “Violent throwing out of the opposition MPs,” “CNN also reported on the violence in the Assembly.”
As a reminder, both the ruling party and the biggest opposition party, under pressure from the international public, formed an ad hoc committee to clarify what happened on December 24. Here’s the part of the Report of the Committee of Inquiry on the Events in the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia from December 24, 2012, in which the representatives of both parties (VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM) and the engaged experts determined and signed in the Chapter 5 (Legal qualifications), in articles 5 and 6 that the Constitution of Republic of Macedonia was broken that day in the Assembly:
„5. Absence of appropriate guidelines to deal this type of situations, including absence of strategy to deal with the media in crisis situation resulted in removal of the journalists from the assembly gallery, which broke the guaranteed rights to freedom of public information and [access of the] public of the work of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. The Assembly should treat the freedom of media to report with special attention and opennes, and to apply the principles of best European practice in this segment.
6. The escalation of events and the engagement and intervention of the police which questioned the constitutional regulations on separation of power, prohibited the members of parliament in performing their functions (to represent the citizens and make decisions based on their own beliefs).”
And, at last, here’s how the European Commission evaluated this event in the Republic of Macedonia Progress Report И, на крајот, еве како Европската комисија го оцени тој настан во Progress Report 2013 on the advance of Republic of Macedonia in the processes of European integration [en, mk]:
“The forcible removal of a large number of opposition MPs and journalists from parliament’s plenary hall on 24 December, during the adoption of the 2013 budget under controversial circumstances, triggered a political crisis which exposed deep divisions among political parties and affected the functioning of parliament.”
Information sources: Of all the possible information sources, none has been consulted.
Extensiveness: The article lacks extensive coverage of the issue, moreover it represents and attempt to create a pseudo-truth. I.e. to promote untruth as truth.
Bias: Definitely, this one-sentence news has deep political bias, as it is completely removed from the truth.
Originality/Plagiarism: If one would joke, the approach adopted for this journalist text can be deemed extremely original.
Quality of the title: The title slyly uses neutral tone. This disguises the journalistic “blasphemy” hidden within the “information.”
Photograph: Present [Photo from the protest of the opposition in front of the Parliament].
Conclusion: In a former review on the Media Fact-Checking Service we noted that historically speaking, there had been experiences when certain media, wholly and continuously, advocate the policies of a certain political party or ideology. This is a practice from a past time, an anachronism, but not unknown in the present too. If a media outlet has such orientation, it should clearly note it, in order to provide fair treatment to the public and avoid misleading.
This review was created within the framework of the USAID Media Strengthening in Macedonia Project - Media Fact-Checking Service Component,, mplemented by Metamorphosis. The review is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, USAID or the United States Government. For more information on the work of USAID in Macedonia please visit its website (http://macedonia.usaid.gov) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia).
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