On the initiative of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), a public debate was held at the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media (AAVMU), where representatives of AJM, the director of the Agency with representatives from the Council, as well as representatives of some of the national television stations, attended.
The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss AJM’s request to amend the rulebook on minimum technical, structural, financial, and personnel conditions for obtaining a license for television and radio broadcasting, which would regulate the obligation of broadcasters to hire media workers outside Skopje.
After the address of the director of AAVMU, Dr. Zoran Trajchevski, who opened the meeting, the president of AJM, Mladen Chadikovski, spoke and briefly explained the reasons why it is necessary to make the change. The local perspective, speed, and accuracy of reporting, greater efficiency in work, building trust with local communities as well as diversity in information.
“Local correspondents play a key role in covering and reporting on news and events in North Macedonia. They provide local perspective, speed and accuracy of reporting, cost-effectiveness, build trust, and ensure diverse coverage, helping national TV stations to establish their credibility and reach a wider audience. In this way, public opinion would be created in a broader sense. Currently, in AAVMU there are regulations with a similar domain, so there should be no problems in inserting this type of changes” – said Chadikovski in his address.
During the meeting, a discussion developed with the representatives of national televisions, which resulted in positive proposals regarding the amendments to the rules. The general attitude of the television stations is that no one will mind having local correspondents from other cities, but some of them see challenges in the area of finances, i.e. in conditions when the media do not have enough funds to function normally, the work becomes difficult, and there is no assistance from the Regulator or other competent body. The dilemma was also raised whether there are enough freelance journalists who would fit into the needs of these televisions in order to create content that would cover topics of local and regional interest.
Dragan Sekulovski from AJM, after the discussion, concluded that there is a need to prepare an analysis by the Regulator where AJM will be a partner in the preparation, with space for participation with relevant suggestions from the national concessionaires.
The meeting was a continuation of the meeting held last month with the director of AAVMU, at the initiative of AJM, which was attended by Mladen Chadikovski, Dragan Sekulovski, Dimitar Micev from TV Channel VIS from Strumica and Nejat Aqifi from TV Festa Kumanovo, coordinator from AJM for this region.