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News 19 Jul 13

Musical Reporters Start to Rock Macedonia

The Reporters, a rock band made up of Macedonian journalists from several different outlets, on Wednesday held a concert, dedicated to raising solidarity among media workers.

Darko Duridanski, Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

 Photo by: Robert Atanasovski

The gig in Skopje’s Journalist’s Club marked the start of the project “Solidarity for Freedom”, a joint effort by the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers, SSNM, the band Reporters, and the Journalists Association, ZNM, supported by the US Embassy in Skopje.

In the band, Zarko Dimitrioski plays guitar, Mile Bosnjakovski plays bass guitar, Borjan Jovanovski drums while Petrit Saracini and Stojan Trpcevski share vocals.

The gig was “dedicated to all journalists no matter where they work, to contribute to building our unity, which will provide a space where we can debate peacefully and with dignity, and stand firm behind every colleague who is in trouble,” Saracini said.

At the gig, the bend performed their first single, recorded last year, symbolically called “Freedom” written by journalist Saska Cvetkovska, as well as other acclaimed rock hits.

As part of the project, the band plans to record an album and go on tour across the country. The songs will be chosen through open competition.

The sales of the album and of tickets will boost a newly formed solidarity fund that will be used for when journalists need help.

Many attending the concert wore "Freedom for Kezo" T-shirts, calling for the release of the detained journalist Tomislav Kezarovski.

Police detained the investigative journalist from the Nova Makedonija daily newspaper in May.

Under charges that he revealed the identity of a protected witness in a text he wrote back in 2008, he has been held in custody ever since, despite calls by all main journalistic organisations in the country for his immediate release.

Following the widespread closure of media outlets critical of the government over the past few years, many media watchdogs have downgraded Macedonia’s rating on the issue of freedom of speech.

The World Media Freedom Index 2013, published in January by Reporters Without Borders, ranked Macedonia in 116th place out of 179 countries.

This represented a drop of 22 places from the previous year and a drop of 82 places compared to 2009. Four years ago, the country was ranked in 34th place in the same media freedom report.

 Photo by: Robert Atanasovski
 Photo by: Robert Atanasovski

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