As part of the activities of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) with the regional centers on 28.10.2023 a working meeting was held in which thirty journalists and cameramen from the local and correspondents from the national media from Bitola and Prilep participated.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the daily challenges that journalists and media workers face in the Bitola-Prilep region, as well as to share constructive proposals and suggestions on how to increase the benefits for the members of the association but also how to exchange information. for current activities and those that follow.
Mladen Chadikovski, the president of AJM, addressed the present colleagues and said: “We are aware of the lack of financial stability and independence in the local media and that such a way contributes to being susceptible to censorship and influence.” But it makes me very happy that today we are here and we have the opportunity to discuss creative solutions in solidarity and constructively to overcome these challenges and thereby elevate journalism as a profession, but also to continue promoting journalistic standards and integrity.” – pointed out Chadikovski.
During the meeting, the regional coordinator from Bitola, Zhaneta Zdravkovska, shared the information regarding the increase in the number of new benefits for AJM members, which include certain reductions in the prices of some commercial and service activities for journalists and media workers with a plan until the end of the year to increase benefits in all six regional centers of AJM on the territory of Macedonia.
“The presence of three dozen journalists from Bitola and Prilep at the meeting indicates the unity of the journalistic community and the affiliation to AJM. However, journalism is not rosy because the interest in hiring correspondent journalists is decreasing, and the local media are economically weak. Journalists who stayed to do their profession out of love are the last Mohicans”, said Zdravkovska
In Bitola, it was also discussed about the project activities with UNDP through which some of the journalists and media workers from the local media will be involved in processing topics about air pollution and dealing with misinformation and gender-based misinformation at the local level. At the meeting, the training academy for journalists, T-AJM, was announced, where training will be offered in a systemically structured way to build the capacities of journalists from 2024.
In the context of the safety of journalists from this region, it was shared that at this moment, no more serious incidents have been observed and there are no ongoing lawsuits by and against journalists.
By the end of the year, there will be four more meetings with the members from the regional centers of AJM, from the regions of Shtip, Strumica, Tetovo and Kumanovo, where, in addition to the current challenges, the increase in the benefits of the members and at the local level from the membership will be discussed in AJM but also to discuss current activities and opportunities.