JUNE 5, 2023
At the request of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), a meeting was held today with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski and representatives of AJM and five international journalistic and media organisations visiting Macedonia.
The discussion topics included the need for the Government and the journalist community to find a mechanism to promote media pluralism jointly and improve media content in general, where public interest will prevail, putting aside political party interest. To this end, the representatives of journalistic and media organisations emphasised the need to create a fund to support pluralism in the media. It is crucial to have a mechanism that will provide a chance for all media and journalists with ideas for high-quality media content to receive support transparently and fairly, ultimately underpinning public interest.
Prime Minister Kovacevski welcomed the efforts of the journalistic organisations and expressed readiness to open a public debate on the requirements for creating a fund to support pluralism in the media in Macedonia.
Besides this, at the meeting, were discussed the next steps in promoting and protecting the freedom of expression and the measures for better protection of journalists from verbal and physical attacks, especially for women journalists who are more exposed to attacks in their line of work.
Some of the obstacles local media workers face regarding the Government’s transparency were also brought up. It was again requested that every photo, video, and text produced by the Government and any public institution be visibly watermarked as government content. The cabinet’s representatives also expressed a willingness to discuss a potential technical solution for this request.
In the period from June 5 to 7, the representatives of journalistic and media organisations will conduct meetings with the President of the State, the President of the Government, the President of the Parliament, the Minister of Information Society and Administration, the directors of the Agency for Audio and Audio-visual Media Services, and the public service broadcaster (MRT), with the ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union, the US Embassy, as well as with a group of journalists and editors – members of AJM.
These meetings are part of the fact-finding press freedom mission organised by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia. The representatives of AJM and the European Federation of Journalists, Free Press Unlimited, International Press Institute, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa will meet with key stakeholders for the media sector. A report with key findings and recommendations will be published soon.