World Press Freedom Day Unites Journalists Across Former Yugoslavia in ‘Five minutes of Roaring Silence’

Newsrooms in Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia came to a stand still at 11.55 on May 3rd as journalists listened to statements read out by union and branch leaders recalling the many sacrifices made by journalists and the continuing struggle for their social and professional rights.

In Croatia the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists, TUCJ, emphasized the need to defend job security and social rights by supporting the negotiations for a national collective agreement. Their statement emphasized the fear for jobs that each change of government brings to journalists in state run media. TUCJ REPORT

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia, AJM, called for the defense of media from attacks on their independence and paid tribute to the journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The AJM had earlier condemned the sentencing of journalist, Mende Petkovski, for reporting that a Judge in Bitola had been stopped for driving without license plates. According to the AJM, the courts found his reports ‘sensationalist’, and convicted him for four months imprisonment despite the article being based on a police report.

This is the fifth year that journalists have celebrated May 3rd with ‘Five Minutes of Roaring Silence’. Initiated by the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists, it has become a regular event across the region.