Media is oftentimes referred to as the fourth pillar of democracy. They play a key role in monitoring and researching the work of public institutions and timely informing the public. Still, the media and journalists are not immune to corruption. Although there is only limited research and awareness of media corruption, there is a broad consensus that the development of an independent, legally protected, professionally managed and economically viable news media is essential to ensuring accountable, responsible and ethical media.
The fight against corruption in the media can include various approaches that will ensure the implementation of appropriate legal frameworks to guarantee the independence and freedom of the media, the transparency in the ownership structure and the accountability for the performed work, to raise awareness about the ethical standards and to promote media responsibility and accountability, as well as to support investigative journalism through technical training.
Reporting from armed conflict/war zones is the biggest challenge for media workers and at the same time the most complicated and difficult task. In addition to the fact that military activities in their essence carry a certain risk with respect to safe working conditions and the risk of losing their lives, media workers are exposed to a number of other dangers on the ground. When a country is in a state of war, the regulations on what is allowed and how a foreign citizen should behave in that country on the ground are constantly changing.
Media workers who do not know or do not follow the changes in these regulations risk being arrested/detained by national authorities. Journalists and videographers in the field, not only need to be aware of the dangers that threaten their lives and freedom of movement, but they also need to be aware that through their reporting or publishing of various types of content (videos) they might cause harm with deadly consequences.
Sensationalist media coverage, inadequate protection of privacy and personal data and difficult access to information are among the most frequently reported problems to the press councils in the region of Balkans and Europe during the pandemic. This is one of the main findings of the research conducted by the Council of Media Ethics of of Macedonia (CMEM), in the period July-September, which analyzed the experiences of media self-regulatory bodies - members or associate members of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils in Europe (AIPCE).