Boris Johnson in His Statement for NATO Does Not Mention Either Petrovska or North Macedonia
The title of the text we are analyzing contains untruths and is sensationalistic. On the one hand, the readiness of the Minister of Defense of North Macedonia, Slavjanka Petrovska, to help the NATO allies in a possible Russian-Ukrainian conflict is ironically “ridiculed”, and on the other hand, it leaves room to think that the text talks about direct assistance from the RNM, with soldiers ready for war. Then, in the text taken from the Russian “Sputnik” from the Serbian language version, the term “readiness to send troops to Ukraine” is used, while it is a distortion of the original statement which says “desire to send troops”
Author: Ferikan Iljazi Arifi
The first part of the title reads that “Johnson burned Slavjanka”. This is a non-professional classification that is not in accordance with journalistic principles at all. According to the Code of Ethics for Journalism, inappropriate communication with the public is not appropriate for the profession of journalist. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, in his statement for the British public service of the BBC, does not mention Petrovska or North Macedonia at any moment. It is not even mentioned in his full speech published by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 25.
The author of the text, by not connecting the title with the content of the text, in his text did not show and did not explain in which way Slavjanka Petrovska is “burned”. Only her statement is given – “our army as part of such structures (NATO) has an obligation and is already preparing analyzes of the possibilities for our possible participation, more precisely engagement in the eventual conflict.” This is actually denied by the author of the text, because Petrovska does not mention either “readiness” or military troops in Ukraine, but informs that North Macedonia is analyzing the situation.
The biggest problem is in the second part of the headline which says “No NATO member is ready to send troops to Ukraine”, a sentence that is repeated at the beginning of the text. Analyzing the original statement, it is noted that in the text we are reviewing there is a misinterpretation and distortion of the word “desire” (to send troops to Ukraine), replacing it with the word “readiness” (to send troops to Ukraine). It does not take many words to indicate the difference between “desiring to do something” and “being ready to do it”.
The original statement is: “Johnson said there was currently no NATO member that desires to send troops to Ukraine,” and that “”beware of doing things… that would constitute a pretext for Putin to invade” – BBC reports.
Exactly like the title, Johnson’s statement, used as such at the beginning of the text, cannot be found later in the text. Only this part can be read “I know that many people share this opinion emotionally. Of course, instinctively, most would call for active physical support for Ukraine in the form of NATO troops, but I must say that I do not think such a thing will happen in the near future. Ukraine is not a member of NATO,” he told lawmakers. From this, it can be concluded once again that Johnson is not talking about the readiness of NATO countries.
The text we are reviewing was used the Russian media “Sputnik” as a source, which has a Serbian-language version, and so it is taken for granted. The distortion was made by “Sputnik”, and then as such, it was republished by the media we are reviewing, which did not check the original statement. Meanwhile, an analysis published by the NATO Center for Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) sees the Russian state news agency “Sputnik” as one of the main channels of Russian propaganda in the media in the Western Balkans.
The text further explains that the British Prime Minister reminds that sanctions are prepared against Russia in case of invasion of Ukraine, which clarifies that there are other alternatives to prevent Russian attempts at military intervention in Ukraine that is not necessarily directly related to military involvement of the NATO military with Russia. The text notes the attempt to present Russia as a “victim” of the NATO forces that have joined forces to attack it only because it is defending its own border.
This text violates some journalistic principles that should act as a guide to fair media.
- The journalist must publish accurate and proven information and will not hide essential information or falsify documents. If the information can not be confirmed, or if it is a guess or speculation, it should be pointed out and announced. The accuracy of the information should be proven.
- A conscientious journalist will not create or process information that violates human rights and freedoms, will not use hate speech and will not incite violence or discrimination on any grounds.