The Council of Media Ethics organized an online meeting with the media from Polog region

Today, the Council of Media Ethics organized an online meeting with the media from Polog region. The meeting was on the topic of Media Reporting in COVID-19 Circumstances – CMEM Experiences.

In the course of the meeting the representatives of CMEM presented the findings from the statistical overview of received appeals and decisions adopted by the Complaints Commission within CMEM and with a particular emphasis on the reporting of media in the course of the pandemic. ‘Sensationalistic informing, unilateral reporting, lack of distance from the political entities while reporting are the main observed phenomena with reference to infringement of the Code of Journalists of Macedonia’, highlighted the Director of CMEM, Ms. Marina Tuneva.

The comparative overview of registered occurrences of non-ethical informing reported to the regional councils of ethics points out the existence of similar issues pertaining to reporting. The pandemic brought about limited access to information, and in certain cases even endangerment of the freedom of expression.

‘Last year we received the highest number of appeals so far. Namely, in 2020 we had a total of 140 appeals and this is almost double the number of appeals we received in 2019. In comparative terms, in the year 2019 we had a total of 83 appeals. As for 2020, a total of 109 decisions were reached, 18 appeals were classified as unjustified whereas 13 appeals were resolved by virtue of mediation, i.e. reconciliation between the parties. In the year 2020, 15% of the appeals were resolved by virtue of mediation whereas in 2019 only 4% were resolved by virtue of mediation which indicates that the media are more and more willing to cooperate with a self-regulatory body. As for this year, up to present date, 93 appeals have been received and our expectation for 2021 is to have an increase by 20 to 30%’, stated Mr. Daniel Dimitrieski, the Program Coordinator of CMEM.

Additionally, in the course of the event the participants were informed about the benefits arising from the creation of the Register of Professional Online Media. Appealing for further engagement of media in the support to self-regulation, CMEM dwelled on the coordination initiatives both within the framework of the professional media community, as well as with any other relevant stakeholders, such as the business sector.

‘The benefits from the support to the operation of CMEM presuppose prevention of influences on media by the centers of power as well as promotion and stimulation of professionalism by voluntary engagement of media in the process of self-regulation,’ stated Ms. Marina Tuneva.

In the context of the afore-stated, the journalist Mr. Zoran Madzoski referred to the necessity of organizing meetings with the media and with representatives of the business sector so as to jointly define and prescribe the forms of support to professionalism in media. Moreover, he pointed out to the necessity of engaging media owners and editors in the recognition of benefits deriving from self-regulation and from the Register of Professional Online Media.

The series of meetings with media, civil society organizations and institutions shall continue in the future as well.

CMEM strongly appeals to continuous filing of complaints regarding cases of unprofessional and unethical reporting by filling in the form available at the website

The online meeting was within the framework of the Project Support to Freedom of Expression in the Media in North Macedonia implemented by CMEM with the support of the EU Delegation to the country.

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