CMEM Debate: Necessity of Supporting Self-Regulation and Implementation of Media Reforms
Hatred and negative feelings are the result of a growing decline in professional standards
Author: 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.
The project “Promoting Inclusiveness and Respecting Human Rights in the Media in North Macedonia” places a strong focus on raising the awareness and improving the knowledge and skills with respect to the need of dealing with discrimination, disinformation and hate speech in the media. More than 120 representatives from the media, civil society organizations, state institutions, and citizens took part in the four debates and two trainings organized as part of the project. They discussed the relevance of self-regulation and inclusion in the media sphere and the approaches they could use in providing support in the fight against discrimination together. At the trainings, they learned about the approaches for recognizing discriminatory and hate speech in the media, as well as for building strategies for effective action against such practices. The project also assisted in issuing the publication “Hate speech, international and national legal framework, with a special focus on the media”, which represents an analysis of the policies for protection and prevention against discrimination and regulation of the media sphere.
The media and the civil society sector are key actors in the processes of preventing and dealing with phenomena such as discrimination, disinformation and hate speech, which in the past year were on the rise in the public sphere in North Macedonia. The media is one of the actors with great responsibility in terms of protecting the audience from discrimination and hate speech, as well as in intercepting disinformation that leads to the creation of these phenomena.