The Association of Journalists (AJM) and the State Audit Office (SAO) yesterday held an online webinar supported by the OSCE Mission to Skopje on “Cooperation between journalists and auditors as a prerequisite for ethical reporting on issues related to public funding.” The webinar was intended for journalists, especially those who cover economics, auditors and people from the public relations department of the SAO.
The purpose of this event is to promote cooperation between journalists and auditors, which is of particular importance for ethical reporting to the public on topics related to public funding. Through practical examples and interactive exercises, the auditors had the opportunity to explain to the journalists in the context of the correct use of terminology, interpretation and the like, while journalists had the opportunity to analyse audit reports, gain a clearer picture and understanding in interpreting the data and other important aspects that would contribute to better ethical reporting to the public.
Welcoming remarks were made by Ilona Kazarjan, Head of the Communications and Media Relations Department of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Mladen Cadikovski, President of the Association of Journalists (AJM), Maksim Acevski, Auditor General.
In his speech, Mladen Chadikovski welcomed the cooperation between AJM and SAO and noted that greater transparency and accountability of institutions to citizens is needed, but also greater professionalism and communication of journalists.
“It is necessary for us to understand together that we both work in the interest of the citizens. For them, audit reports mean nothing if the journalists who present them to the public do not understand them. That is why we need this cooperation that will make us stronger together”- Chadikovski emphasized.
In her speech, Ilona Kazaryan stressed: Investigative journalists and the free press are key in monitoring the flow of capital and goods, as well as in seeking accountability from the authorities in the name of good governance. Investigative journalists, civil society organizations and anti-corruption activists play an important role in exposing corruption and advocating for stricter anti-corruption legislation.
Maksim Acevski, Auditor General, also welcomed the implementation of the memorandum of cooperation between AJM and SAO in the hope of greater success and continued cooperation. He emphasized the activities from 2020 until now, the openness of the SAO to the media and the progress made so far.
“The purpose of the activities is to increase the number of stakeholders who will receive the necessary information. At the beginning of 2020, we had 40 stakeholders, now that number is 380. Cooperation with journalists has increased, 91 journalists, 11 national televisions, news agencies and other media. SAO always insists on increasing activities, nurtures to be an active actor in society to deliver quality to citizens,” said Acevski.
In addition to the 25 participants and representatives of the organizations, lecturers were: Goran Temenugov, public relations expert, Tatjana Dimitrovska, a state audit expert and Milan Spirovski, an AJM project researcher who moderated the event.
The participants who were part of the workshop and all representatives of the SAO at the end expressed their satisfaction with the event, hoping for the continuation of activities of this nature.
This event is organized by the Association of Journalists, within the activities arising from the jointly signed Memorandum of Cooperation between AJM and the State Audit Office (SAO) and supported by the OSCE Mission to Skopje. The content of this workshop does not always reflect the views or attitudes of the OSCE Mission to Skopje.