OSCE sets up hotline for Macedonian journalists

A helpline for reporting threats, attacks and violence against journalists in Macedonia has been launched by the OSCE mission to Skopje in co-operation with the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM).

The free helpline will operate around the clock providing assistance and support to journalists and media workers in case of intimidation, threats, verbal or physical attacks, online harassment, gender-based violence, blackmail, and any other security related issue.

The operator will advise the journalists and media workers on how to act in specific situations by informing about them on available complaint mechanisms.

“An attack on a journalist is an attack on democracy. Threats and intimidations often lead to self-censorship, thus limiting the space for flow of ideas and opinions,” said Deputy Head of the OSCE mission to Skopje Jeff Goldstein.  “The OSCE, with its comprehensive approach to security, is working towards ensuring that media can operate more freely and that journalists can conduct their work without fear of intimidation or threats, and stay safe.”

Acting president of the SSNM, Zvezdan Georgievski added: “Quality journalism is not possible without conditions for safe operation of journalists and media workers. It is, therefore, crucial to provide our colleagues with the needed assistance when facing any kind of violence.”