“Safer Media Workers for Quality Journalism in North Macedonia”
“Keeping Journalists Safe in Situations of Crisis”
The project “Keeping Journalists Safe in Situations of Crisis”, implemented by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), in partnership with the Independent Trade Union of Journalists of Macedonia (SSNM), is funded by UNESCO through the Global Media Defence Fund, a UNESCO Multi-Partner Trust Fund, developed with the goal of enhancing media protection and improving the access of journalists to specialized legal assistance.
In the last decade, R.N. Macedonia has witnessed higher number of attacks against journalists, from verbal attacks, insults, online harassment to physical attacks. This created an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship. Huge percent of the attacks ended with impunity, with only two cases in the recent years ending with sanctions for the perpetrators. Despite the fact that in the last years the physical attacks have a tendency of decreasing, there is still a huge number of cases of online harassment, attacks, intimidations, threats…
In response to these challenges, the project aims to draw the attention of the public and relevant national authorities about the cases of threats and/or attacks against journalists in North Macedonia, with the overarching goal of enhancing their safety, contributing to the fight against impunity, and deterring attacks against media professionals.
In addition, the project also envisages activities designed to ensuring the access to rapid legal assistance to threatened or attacked journalists, with the goal of supporting their legal defence and upholding their human and professional rights.
The project duration is 12 months (15.03.2021-15.03.2022).
Improving the dialogue between journalists’ associations and parliaments in Western Balkans for stronger civil society sector
Strengthening Media Freedom in North Macedonia
The project Strengthening Media Freedom in North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia is a 3- year project funded by the MATRA Rule of Law programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project will be implemented by a consortium and is developed in cooperation with local partner organisations consisting of three judicial academies and three journalist associations.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to creating an environment in which media freedom and freedom of expression are respected and can be exercised without fear or pressure. It particularly focuses on building the capacity of both journalists and actors within the judiciary sector to develop a more effective response to cases of intimidation and threats.
Through these aims, the project is directly contributing to enhancing media freedom and is building the capacity of the judiciary.
Free Legal Aid to Journalists and Media in Western Balkan
The project is conceived to promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media in North Macedonia in line with the European standards. It consists of three components targeting different groups of beneficiaries: I) Legal professionals (judges, prosecutors, police officers, lawyers); ii) the Media Regulatory Authority; iii) Media actors (journalists, journalistic associations, self-regulatory body, students of law and journalism and other media organisations, as well as members of the parliament). The current project builds upon the results achieved and lessons learned during a previous regional EU/CoE JP (JUFREX – Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe).
This project is part of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II”, a joint EU/CoE programme implemented by the Council of Europe, which aims at assisting Beneficiaries in the Western Balkans region and Turkey to comply with the Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process, where relevant.
Sigrid Rausing Trust
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia has been awarded an institutional grant from Sigrid Rausing Trust (SRT) in the amount of 45,000 pounds, it has a duration of 12 months and starts its implementation in June 2019. The purpose of the grant is to help the work of the AJM in the direction of fulfilling the mission and vision of the AJM, as well as the strategic goals of the Association envisaged in the Statute and the three-year strategic plan.
The SRT which is based in London, United Kingdom, was established back in 1995 and functions as a foundation that provides support and financial assistance for the protection of human rights globally.
The purpose of SRT is to promote the values and principles of human rights and freedoms, equality and the rule of law, and to preserve nature from further degradation. The Trust supports advocacy, creativity, research and scholarship to these ends.
Embassy of the Netherlands in North Macedonia
In 2019, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia will implement the project “Safe Journalists for Credible Information in North Macedonia”. This project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in North Macedonia and aims to improve the level of safety of journalists in North Macedonia, to raise the awareness about the importance of professional journalism as well as to monitor the institutions that are relevant to the media and the safety of journalists.
Within the framework of this project, we will organize trainings for journalists and members of the police, two publications and protocols will be published for the journalists, the police and the judiciary. Also, at the end of the year, an annual report with indicators on the safety of journalists will be published, scoping the legal environment for the work of the media, as well as the social situation of journalists and media workers.
OSCE Mission to Skopje
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia since March 2015 is a beneficiary of institutional grants under Civica Mobilitas program to support civil society that began implementing in October 2014 and will last until September 2018.
Civica mobilitas supports civil society in promoting social change in the (strategic) areas such as good governance, decentralization and development of civil society. Also, it supports civil society in reference to three “transversal themes”: gender issues, ethnic relations and migration.
The program consists of three components: Support, networking, learning; grant scheme and research and development; and the total value is about 8 million Swiss francs.
Civica Mobilitas is a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation project that is implemented by NIRAS from Denmar, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) and the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU)
French Embassy to Skopje
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia and the French Embassy in Skopje on 06.08.2017 signed a cooperation agreement by which the embassy will financially support the preparation of the analysis of the decision of the court case Selmani and others against the Republic of North Macedonia by the European Court of Human Rights. After the preparation of this analysis a seminar will be held on “Implementing the decision of the ECHR and implementing positive jurisprudence in Macedonia”, organized by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia. The aim of this cooperation is to create a platform for judges and journalists, where they can get acquainted with the rule of law of the ECHR through the specific verdict. The seminar is expected to improve the cooperation between the journalists and judges and to improve the transparency, accountability and mutual trust.
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia has launched the EU-funded project “Journalists’ Network for Media Freedoms in Macedonia”, under the media freedom priority of Instrument for Pre-Accessing Assistance (IPA).
The project aims to develop AJM’s network of journalists and raise awareness about ethical reporting, media self-regulation and help improve the national practice in line with the EU principles and the standards of Council of Europe.
Creating an enabling environment for free media and to improve the protection of journalism is the main goal of this Project. By strengthening the capacities of both the Association of Journalists of Macedonia and the self-regulatory bodies we aim to increase the effectiveness and credibility in assessing situations of unprofessional and unethical journalism.
As follow up on previous projects carried out by AJM we will continue to monitor the national court practice, in particular on issues involving journalists or media outlets in cases of libel and defamation. The project foresees awareness raising activities through training of journalists as well as judges and lawyers on freedom of expression obligation in compliance with Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights.
Finally, the Project tends to enforce a dialogue with the government, policy makers, judiciary, the media and international actors to help bring the media legislation and practice in line with the European standards.
The European Federation of Journalists as our external partner has a crucial role in the implementation of this project, with additional of at least three sub-grantee CSO’s at the local level. The project will run until 2018.
Initiative for editorial freedom: New policies and data driven advocacy
Embassy of the USA to Skopje
Projcet: Promotion of Photojournalism
The grant is requested by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia as a support in achieving its strategic goals to increase the professional standards of the journalists in the country.
This project has а tendency to directly engage at least 20 professional photo reporters who are willing to upgrade their knowledge in a joint process of know-how in cooperation with professionals from the United States. The project will have outreach for broader audience thought engagement of other journalists and wider public. Intensive training with a US based photojournalism expert was provided to journalists in the city of Ohrid. Furthermore, in the upcoming period we are planning to have similar activities in Skopje.