Hatred and negative feelings are the result of a growing decline in professional standards

adamceAuthor: Mirche Adamchevski, President of the Appeals Commission at CMEM

In recent years, hate speech, discrimination and disinformation have become a distinctive feature of journalism in our country. They are mostly found in online media, but certain electronic and print media are not excluded from the equation.

The consequences of this type of journalism are all around us. It is enough to see the comments in the online media or the call-in shows on the televisions and radio stations. Disinformation, discrimination, incitement of aggression have become quite prevalent, and all this is carried out under the guise of freedom of expression, as if no one is worried about what is happening under the published text. Also, the line that leading journalists leave for viewers and listeners to uphold, who can easily cross and break the rules and norms, is very thin.

dragan sekulovskiAuthor: Dragan Sekulovski, Executive Director of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia

The axiom that "the spoken word can kill" could not be refuted in the philosophical debate in history, and from today's perspective, taking into consideration the information progress and globalization, the risk of abusing freedom of expression and violating human security is greater than ever before. The question that arises today is whether the spoken word can kill more than in the past?

IMG 20201029 185448Author: Arta Tahiri, news editor and "The Road to" TV show editor on Alsat M

Hate speech is present not only in the online media, popularly known by the public as portals, the Internet and social networks, but also on television and radio stations, in print media, political speeches and other public addresses, public gatherings - rallies, protests and sports competitions.

Youthforum portrait NH 10Author: Monika Aksentievska, Institute of Communication Studies

Social media has changed the way we communicate, allowing us to access information quickly and easily. Moreover, gave us a platform where we can freely express and encourage social change. On the other hand, the freedom to be a content creator has revealed some of the negative aspects of social media, such as spreading disinformation and hate speech, online bullying, fraud, etc.

These phenomena became even more pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic. The spread of the corona virus resulted in the spread of conspiracy theories, rumours, disinformation and hate speech on social media. This is particularly devastating, seeing as the opportunity provided by social media to connect different people in online communities that promote acceptance of diversity, togetherness and inclusion is being abused to create a xenophobic environment, spreading panic and fear.

erdem.ademAuthor: Erdem Ahmet, journalist, member of the CMEM Appeals Commission

"Do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you". If the media had followed this wise Confucian saying, there would have been no content with hate speech, prejudice, discriminatory speech and stereotypes related to diversity. There would be debates and disagreements as before, but the words would be heeded. Diversity would be respected. As things currently stand, no one is sure that they will not be verbally attacked just because of their ethnicity, gender, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political conviction….

vesna ivanovska ilievska 1Author: Vesna Ivanovska-Ilievska, journalist

I have written several announcements about the exhibitions of the artist Aferdita Kiki, all published in the culture section of the newspaper "Dnevnik", where I worked for 17 years. I have always liked her works. But, there was no time to meet her to talk about her work. We met by chance, at an awards ceremony. I have not met a person with such impressive energy for a long time. Strong, but infinitely gentle. As if I had known her all my life. I barely noticed the crutches.

дандоновAuthor: Dejan Andonov, MA, media and communications expert

Online space and social media have become the central point where young people explore new ideas, express their identity and participate in the greater society. Yet, at the same time, they can be abused by those who want to use the afore-stated to humiliate, insult and bully. Penal provisions are no longer sufficient to prevent hate speech. We need educational measures to address this social problem.

зоран фиданоскиAuthor: Zoran Fidanoski, journalist, member of the AVMS Council  

There are many definitions and scientific explanations of the meaning, representation and values of synergy. Summarized in a few words, synergy is the “energy” that occurs when we work and act together. It comes from the Greek word "synergos" and it actually describes a situation when the whole that is created is larger and more valuable with the sum of its parts.

What are the points on which synergy can be achieved between the electronic media regulator, the self-regulatory body and the Ombudsman? There are several, but it is certain that hate speech and discrimination are the most important. It opens a wide field for action and cooperation that existed in the past, but it is certain that it should increase in volume and quality in the future.

1 1Author: Dragan Sekulovski, Executive Director of AJM

Civil society organizations working to promote human rights, as well as those in the media sector, regularly initiate public debates on the dangers of hate speech and its consequences when it is not sanctioned.

These debates are attended by international and local experts on topics related to hate speech, discrimination and freedom of expression and discussions revolve around new trends in the country and the region in relation to these issues. Rarely, and perhaps never, are these topics publicly raised by executive or judicial institutions. Why is that?

Vlado Krstovski

author: Vlado Krstovski, MA, program manager, PORAKA

Several important topics related to the media representation of marginalized groups of citizens, including people with disabilities, were the topic of the online debate of the Council of Media Ethics entitled "The Role of Media and Education in Addressing Discrimination and Hate Speech". The participants referred to the importance and roles of the media and the education in raising public awareness and reducing discrimination in our society.

Наташа Стојановиќauthor: Nastasija Stojanovic, MCEC

Motivated and educated young people, who recognize their roles in society, are the key to positive changes in the present and in the future. We often hear that young people are the future, but in order to be drivers of positive change in the future, they must still be responsible and active citizens today. The most important role in this process is played by the education, and I am glad that this role is being recognized.

vane trajkov photoauthor: Vane Trajkov, journalist

"Do not only publish, pay attention to the comments on social networks after posting the information as well, because they will fall into the background, and the excessive freedom of speech will rise to the surface, with many offensive comments and hate speech that can cause huge consequences. The consequences will be even more devastating if the information is incomplete, unsupported by facts and arguments." This is what the teacher from one school underlined, after some media reposted and published a video created by minors and posted on social networks, which shows the "reckless" move of a 12-year-old boy, a pupil with a disability. This immediately caused an avalanche of reactions, curses and calls for lynching, due to which the authorities had to intervene to "save" the boy, who was otherwise from a socially vulnerable family and is part of the inclusive educational process. The comments on the social networks went so far as to discriminate on religious grounds, because the boy was from a non-majority community, and his identity as a minor was not protected at all.

Вики Чадиковскаauthor: Violeta Cadikovska, journalist

The non-sanctioning of hate speech in the country poses a serious challenge to prevent its spread. Social networks and online media have intensified the impact of the spread of hate speech and discrimination, at a time when the world is facing a Covid-19 pandemic. Comparative analyzes indicate that the presence of hate speech has decreased in the traditional media, but it marks a progressive growth online. There is only one court ruling related to hate speech in the country and that is a serious problem.

zoran andonov slikaauthor: Zoran Andonov, journalist

Few days ago, I met a mother of a child with cerebral paralysis, member of an association from Tetovo. She asked me if children with this disease will get anything with the latest measures from the Government. I told her "no, there will be no help provided for people with disabilities". She sadly looked at me and quietly said: "As before, they have forgotten us completely, they treat us as invisible, we do not exist. Everyone received some money, retirees, company workers, students and we did not. Why does it have to be like this? They are afraid to help us or they do not care at all that there are some people who really need support, people who struggle 24 hours a day. I just wonder, how long is this going to last?!”.

Sefer Tahiriauthor: Sefer Tahiri

In recent months, the world, in addition to covid 19, is facing false news, but also political / party instrumentalization of the new situation with the virus. Unfortunately, in the country,  journalistic content can be identified in some media in which ethnic inclinations and bias are detected!

Teofil2author: Teofil Blazevski

The fight against fake news requires unification of the media community

Joint action of media organizations and experts for short-term and long-term effects of the fight against fake news and other unethical public information is a necessity

When there were many victims in Skopje from the flood caused by the storm that hit four years ago, in 2016, the problem with fake news in the media was not very visible, neither quantitatively nor qualitatively. The problem had mostly appeared visibly in relation to political issues and the war between the government and the opposition at that time to get out of the severe political crisis, which practically started in December 2012.

MMM 8739author: Dejan Andonov, MA
Expert in media and communications
Institute for Communication Studies

Since March this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a huge need for news and highlighted the importance of professional journalism and access to verified information. The spread of the coronavirus, critical situations in the health system, preventive measures, urgent Government policies, damages from physical isolation, all these headlines just illustrate that "Covid-19" is a topic mostly reported by the media. However, many untruths have been spreading through online portals and social networks with the same speed, that makes it difficult for the society to react properly and deal with the pandemic. Hence, access to reliable information has become a matter of life and death. Human health depends not only on health care, but also on access to accurate information about coronavirus threats and on the measures for personal protection and protection of their families and the environment. This crisis has also highlighted the need for journalists in society, who play a key role in providing vital information to the public.