“Many times, problems occur due to the lack of facts, news about diversity, information about what others think, about the different cultures in our society. We know that this is a problem in the media coverage of daily topics and developments", Marina Tuneva, Executive Director of the Council of Media Ethics said at the debate titled as "The Role of Media and Education in Addressing Discrimination and Hate Speech“.
Ways in which media, the press council and educational institutions can cooperate in tackling hate speech, discrimination and stereotypes were discussed at the debate attended by 30 representatives of CSOs, educational institutions, media organizations and students from universities in the country.
"Journalists and media have an inalienable right to editorial policy and freedom in their positioning, but the facts are facts and there should be no compromises here," the President of the Managing Board of CMEM Katerina Sinadinovska said.
According to Dejan Andonov from the Institute for Communication Studies, media literate citizens know how to understand the value of news, recognize the messages they receive and build a critical attitude. Hence, it is necessary to continuously invest in improving the skills of citizens for critical analysis of media content.
Professor Naser Miftari agrees with this, saying that the audience should have enough knowledge to recognize what is good and what is bad, what to listen to and what not. "All this can be achieved if we provide enough space in our education system. Our system needs an in-depth reform, and we would not succeed in these reforms if we do not put the media in the forefront," he said.
The media must play a key role not only in informing, says journalist Jasmina Mironski, but also in combating hate speech, discrimination and stereotypes.
"Social-psychological theories explain that people are in so-called 'bubbles' they choose where to get information from, what to remember, because all this corresponds to their previous beliefs. Media literacy is extremely important, and experiences show that it is best if it is infused through various teaching content in education," said RESIS President Snezana Trpevska.
According to Liljana Pecova Ilieska, member of the Press Complaints Commission at CMEM, the faculties that create teaching staff should be contacted and discussed on how to master media literacy skills during higher education.