The Program Council at MRT and AJM: the MRT budget is cut in a non-transparent way
The Program Council at MRT and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) inform that the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services is currently being amended in the Assembly of the Macedonian Radio Television (MRT), which foresees a reduction in the annual budget of the Macedonian Radio Television (MRT).
These changes are made after a shortened procedure, in a non-transparent manner and without the involvement of MRT representatives as well as the journalistic community.
The amendments foresee that the funds for financing the broadcasting activity, for the operation and development of MRT, the Public Enterprise Macedonian Radio Broadcasting and AAAVMS, which are provided by the State Budget in the amount of 1%, will be reduced to 0.9% of the realized total revenues in the year preceding the fiscal year. year. This means that funds in the amount of about five million euros, instead of for the development of public broadcasting activity, will be transferred to the account of private televisions and radios for so-called campaigns of public interest on topics that will be decided by deputies from the ruling and opposition parties.
This model is detrimental to MRT and further threatens the already fragile financial situation in which the public broadcaster exists.
We remind you that the Council of Europe in its recommendations affirms the vital role of public broadcasting services as an essential factor for pluralism in the media, by providing a comprehensive program containing information, education, culture, and entertainment for citizens. Additionally, in the same recommendation, the Council warns that the public service cannot be an important source of accurate, timely and plural information if it is not independent from various political and economic influences. One of the important prerequisites for MRT to have political independence is to have stable and sufficient funding through which it will be able to fulfill its legal obligations in the interest of the public.