This is not the first time for such a title to appear in this media, which is proved by traces on the Time.mk content aggregator. This time, the occasion is the latest report of “Reporters without borders”, where Macedonia is ranked at the 123 position, with a drop of 6 positions compared to last year. The text was published immediately after the latest report of “Reporters without borders” precisely to bring into question its relevance and to diminish this organization, at the same time justifying the fall in the rankings which is noted in the report. The text is old and already published in full. The “World Media” that are referenced by the portal as sources, is actually a Venezuelan media that has published the article in 2005.
The article “Reporters Without Borders is a fraud” also refers to other articles published in 2008. As stated by Zarko Trajanovski in his review of the same topic, “Journalists have a legitimate right to question those who are trying to report on media freedoms and to perform ranking based on certain criteria, but how was this done by the media, republishing the obsolete title “Reporters Without Borders is a fraud?”.
Link to the original article: “Репортери без граници е измама“
Date and time of publication: 13.02.2014, 17:35
Review date: 14.02.2014
Reviewer: Miroslava Byrns
Accuracy of facts: The text has statements that do not correspond to the truth. For example:
“The last report by Reporters Without Borders for this country does not specify the criteria or the explanations why it had come to this assessment of media freedom which is extremely bad for the country.”
The ranking of “Reporters without borders” as it is known, is based on six criteria: pluralism, independence of the media, self-censorship and working conditions, legal frameworks, transparency and information infrastructure.
As Trajanovski concludes in his analysis, this unsigned article mentions several times the “Soros” financier as an illustration of the thesis that “the organization creates reports based on business objectives as well.” However, the text does not have an explanation regarding the business goal, based on which Macedonia got the 34th place in 2009 as the best in the Balkans for freedom of the press when the government sent “sincere congratulations” to the journalists for that report.
It further says:
There is no information on the “Reporters Without Borders” website about who is behind these self-proclaimed fighters for freedom of the press, and there is no list with their board of directors.
Visitors of the “Reporters without borders” website can find the members of the so-called Administration board, i.e. the Management board, along with an explanation about how its members were elected.
Furthermore, we analyze the accuracy of the following:
The annual financial statements do not give us an approximate idea about who exactly is funding them, and about the flow of the money. Millions of dollars of their annual income is referred to as “revenue from the sale of publications,” but the names of the publications are not included, and there is no information about whom they were sold to. According to Denesen, there is also no option to purchase any of their “publications”.
At the following link you can find everything about the financing of “Reporters without borders”.
It is not mentioned which “world media” claim and argue the following:
World media inform that “Reporters without borders” is not an organization for protection of journalism, but an organization for protection of geopolitical interests.
The article further claims that the secretary-general Robert Menard “admitted” that the budget of “Reporters Without Borders” is allocated by organizations linked to U.S. foreign policy.
In this statement, the word “admitted” is used by the media to mislead the reader that there is something suspicious going on, because someone is “admitting”, which, of course, is a manipulation and is not supported with anything.
Information Sources: The sources used by the “Denesen” portal are articles from a Venezuelan media published several years ago. It’s interesting that this same text was published in “Kurir” after the previous report of “Reporters without borders”, as if it is intended for this kind of reports.
Extensiveness: The author of the text has omitted to say that Macedonia, according to the latest report, is ranked on the 123th place and is not providing a description of the circumstances that led to this. The report states that although the country conducted reforms that should put the country on the road to the European Union, the facade of democracy in the past few years cannot hide the numerous violations of freedom of information. The report describes the case of Tomislav Kezarovski (as one of the reasons for the six positions drop of Macedonia on the list), but this is not included in the text of “Kurir” used by “Denesen”.
“After being sentenced to four and a half years of prison for revealing the name of a protected witness in a murder case, the prison sentence was converted to house arrest as the result of international pressure” – concludes the “Reporters without Borders” organization.
Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to criticize and to challenge the legitimacy of this organization and to present it as a “mercenary”, “sorosoid” and “conspirator” organization” – and all of this is presented as being the conclusion of “world media” (which, of course, is not true, because the source is a Venezuelan media that published an article 9 years ago).
Furthermore, the text includes a serious manipulation – a sentence from an article by Ljubomir Frckoski from 2010 is taken out of context in order to impose a thesis that SDSM has something to do with the destruction of media freedoms:
We did it, yes, with our own sacrifices (some of us paid large amounts of money for fines) to knock down this undemocratic government from the 34th to the fantastic 68th position on the list of countries with freedom of speech (according to Reporters Without Borders)
However, this sentence is taken out of context and the complete article can be read here.
Bias: There is a strange tendency for a media to manipulate the facts in order to diminish a non-governmental organization that protects the rights of journalists, without mentioning the fact that this organization ranked Macedonia in 34th place just a few years ago, which was welcomed by the government. Therefore, this is political bias.
After these articles of Frckoski, it becomes clear that the image of freedom of the media in Macedonia in the latest report of “Reporters without Borders” is created by people close to Vladimir Milcin and the Foundation Open Society – Soros, taking into account that according to the practice in other countries, the organization creates the reports based on business objectives, and that George Soros is one of the financiers.
This is just one of the manipulative comments prevailing in the text. Hiding the fact that the 6 places drop on the list is due to the imprisonment of Tomislav Kezarovski, the portal accuses Vladimir Milcin for this, although he cannot be held responsible for journalists being sent to prison.
Originality/Plagiarism: It is strange that ‘Kurir’ cites “Denesen” as the source, although the same text was published by “Kurir” last year.
Quality of the title: There is manipulation in the title. Another article published in 2005 on venezuelanalysis.com is used as the basis for this text. In that article, the original title is “The reporters without borders fraud”, and not “Reporters Without Borders is a fraud” as it is translated.
The title is misleading the reader, and does not justify the text, because it is not clear what the “fraud” is, if they transparently disclose their sources of funding and create a World Press Freedom Index.
Photography: The photo, according to journalist time (where news are actually novelties) is “prehistoric”, as well as the text. It is a screenshot of an existing text from a Venezuelan media. It seeks to diminish “Reporters without borders” because the “world media” say so. It’s just an alibi and the real reason that we can sense, because of the multiple posting of this same text, is to justify the bad media situation in Macedonia” with the “irrelevance of the organization” whose reports are read worldwide.
Conclusion: The text is old, it has been published too many times and no attempt has been made to explain the specific, latest ranking at “Reporters without borders”, but rather a “universal” ranking. It contains many unsubstantiated labels, manipulations, factual inconsistencies aiming to diminish “Reporters Without Borders” because on their media freedom list Macedonia is in free fall.
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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