AJM: Media promotion of the MFA with public money is against the ban on government campaigns
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) reacts to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs procedure, which, through previously conducted public procurement, invests citizens’ funds for campaigns in private media to promote the OSCE chairmanship.
According to publicly available information, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will spend around 100,000 euros for promotional activities related to Macedonia’s chairmanship of the OSCE, for which a contract has been concluded with a private marketing company.
We remind you that this procedure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly contradicts the previous government decision of August 22, 2017, which practically puts a moratorium on government advertisements in private media. This decision, which complements the active legal ban on government campaigns, instructs all state administration bodies and local self-government units to stop advertising in commercial television and radio, daily and weekly newspapers, billboards, internet portals, etc..
We warn that paying for government campaigns in the media with citizens’ money, apart from being illegal and contrary to previous government decisions, may also encourage other public institutions to apply it, which would further damage the fragile media market.
This practice of an expensive and selective way of buying media space through government campaigns cannot be considered as a support for the media, but as an attempt to corrupt them and at the same time promote political propaganda to the detriment of the public interest.