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At a press conference held on March 10, at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje, the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) reminded the media of the great role and responsibilities for professional reporting and contribution to improving the situation in the media.

"In a period when further trends of nonprofessional reporting are observed, it is particularly important to once again recall the importance of self-regulation, because we feel that there can be no higher law in journalism than telling the truth and reporting in a balanced fashion", said Marina Tuneva, executive director of the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia.

As the President of the Press Complaints Commission of CMEM Mirce Adamcevski informed, during this period, more than 20 complaints have been processed. Out of these, 11 complaints were based on inaccurate and unfair reporting, defamation and violation of privacy. 6 complaints were based on inaccurate and unfair reporting and defamation, and 4 complaints for inaccurate and unfair reporting. The Commission examined the complaints and one of them was resolved through mediation, whereas it decided that 21 media violated the Code of Journalists of Macedonia, respectively Articles 1, 4, 13 and 14. Journalists speculate, they do not verify the information, do not state the source of information, do not distinguish between facts and opinions, news and comments and forget that reporting on political processes, especially elections, should be impartial and balanced, free of discrimination, and professional distance from political parties must be ensured. There are also cases when journalists do not adhere to generally accepted social standards of decency and respect for differences. Full details on decisions on specific cases, can be seen on the website of CMEM (www.semm.mk).

Violation of professionalism standards was noticed also in the latest findings of the media monitoring implemented by the Institute for Communication Studies, which indicate the trends of favorism and demonizing political parties, propagandist and apologetic reporting, examples of coordinated newsroom manipulation between private televisions, framing old news in a new manipulative context, taking sides, etc.

In February, the Council of Media Ethics initiated the signing of the Charter for ethical reporting on elections, for the commercial media. The Charter was signed by 32 media and the Association of private media in Macedonia, which unites 60 regional and local media.