The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Council for Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) announced the Register of Professional Online Media, which has about 70 members.
“This process came as a the result of a wider debate about the need to address problems in the field of online media, with our two organizations playing an active role in it, but also the fact that self-regulation is the most powerful solution to fostering media professionalism not only in the present circumstances, but also in the long run,” said CMEM Executive Director Marina Tuneva at today’s press conference.
The process of creating the Registry was conducted according to the criteria agreed between CMEM and AJM following examples from the practice of developed democratic societies and the Council of Europe, while the media and business community in the country were also regularly consulted.
“It is important for us to understand that, as before, we will constantly monitor the work of the media and the members that have already applied, and if it turns out that they have breached the principles of the Ethical Code at some point, they will be removed while those who are not part of the current Register, if this process helps them to improve and work according to the standards of the profession, they will have the opportunity to enter in the Register at later stages,” said Katerina Sinadinovska, President of the Management Board of CMEM.
The initiative to create the Register is also supported by the Economic Chamber of Macedonia. The President of AJM Mladen Chadikovski explained that the Registry will be widely used, for the businesses it will mean protection from blackmailers and unprofessional media, and for citizens to recognize which media that respect the standards, they will learn which media can be trusted and which information should be taken with reserve. “In the context of state elections, the Registry will be a test for political parties whether they will promote themselves in professional online media or in the other “independent” media,” said Chadikovski. He called citizens to make as many complaints as they can to the CMEM if they believe that some media outlets have breached the standards. “This is the only way to prevent propagandists and blackmailers from being part of the Register,” Chadikovski explained.
Vice President of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia Jelisaveta Georgieva – Jovevska explained that the Registry will help the business community in recognizing professional online media as opposed to those who do not meet the membership criteria. “Creating the Register is a very important moment for all of us, because it is the first attempt to put order in the media landscape. With this the Economic Chamber shows that in its corporate social consciousness it also understood the importance of the media as an important social actor and corrective to the government,” said the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Branko Azeski.
The web platform www.promedia.mk will be operational from the beginning of January, with details for all members of the Registry.
Attached to this statement is a list of current members of the Professional Online Media Register.