Faced with the abuse of media that serve destructive agendas of individuals and groups, the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM), the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers urge the media to meet the basic rules of professional work, including observance of the Code of Journalists, transparency in the ownership and editorial structure, and acceptance of self-regulation as a sole protector of media freedoms and independence. This also includes indication of authorship, as well as sources of information when using content from other media.
The right of every media outlet is to decide whether it will participate in the work of the self-regulatory body – the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, but this does not release them from the duty to observe professional standards in the media sphere. These are the minimum standards that are expected to be met by the media, otherwise, they will only be regarded as fake media that work to the detriment of the public interest. We are concerned that public trust in the media is often betrayed by individuals and media platforms that work irresponsibly and to the detriment of the public interest, thus calling into question the integrity of the profession.
Such negative phenomena are commonly found at online media platforms, where the content of very low quality, false news, misinformation, propaganda, and sensationalism can be found. In 2017, over 80 percent of the press complaints to the Press Complaints Commission of the Council of Media Ethics were specifically related to online media.