Reaction of the Public Prosecutor`s Office
SSNM, as a trade union of journalists which defends the right to free and professional practice of the profession and fighting the tendencies to turn it into a servile journalism succumbed to propaganda, is rejecting the threats of the Public Prosecutor`s Office that “publishing of materials which can be grounds for further criminal proceeding is forbidden and punishable by law”.
Journalists who obtain materials related to a potential conflict of interests, misleading information to the public through statements or actions of officials, organizations or authorities, unethical or illegal conduct of high officials, crimes or serious violations of the law, have the professional obligation to revel the same.
That is the essence of the fundamental principle of journalism – informing in the interest of the public and respecting the constitutional right of the public to be informed! That is the credo of the profession regardless what everybody else, including the Government, think!
The warning issued by the Prosecutor`s Office must not be justification for withdrawal from the basic task of journalism – to defend the public interest by helping the public, with the information it provides, to make their own decisions and opinions on what is happening in the society.
Therefore, journalists have not only the right, but also the obligation to reveal information on crimes and to prevent any attempts to mislead and manipulate the public from a position of power.