MARCH 11, 2016
On 8 March, Kristina Atovska, a journalist in the morning program of TV Sitel, was fired from the media because two days prior she had written a column in which she criticized the ex-Minister of Internal Affairs – Gordana Jankulovska. This was revealed today by the journalist herself at the press conference organized by the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM).
“I was blatantly told that I was being fired for the column with the headline “Journalistic Immunity for Jankulovska”. I was told that the text had caused problems.” – stated Antovska, adding that any suggestion that somebody had reacted to the text would be a speculation on her part.
“When Jankulovska is criticizing … (the Minister who was called upon on numerous occasions during the past five years to resign but who persistently refused to leave the comfortable armchair until the visit to the American Embassy in the follow up of the events in Kumanovo), I really want to ask her: Aren`t you ashamed?” wrote Atovska in her column.
The journalist explained that she was employed as a freelancer in TV Sitel and, considering her freelance status, she was also engaged in the portal “Pozitiv”, but she underlined that she had always respected the editorial policy of the TV station, in line with the journalistic standards, and that she had never worked on current political issues.
The President of SSNM, Tamara Chausidis called on TV Sitel to reinstate Atovska, stressing that every media outlet should appreciate journalists who show integrity. Chausidis announced that the Trade Union will continue to reveal similar cases in the forthcoming period.
“Freelancers are living human beings with a name and a surname and this is how doors are shut in their faces at the very beginnings of their careers. We, the journalists, must fight for Kristina`s story to be heard”, was Chausidis` message.
Atovska says that she would probably go back to work if Sitel`s management decided to reconsider their decision.