The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) sent a draft version of the "Charter on Ethical Reporting During the Elections" to all the media organizations in the country. The Charter has been accepted by a significant number of these organizations and the Council appeals for its review and acceptance by all media organizations in Macedonia. The official event for the signing of the Charter is to follow soon.

Below is the draft version of the Charter:

Following conclusions and recommendations derived from the discussion between participants:
  • Regulatory and self-regulatory body should cooperate, especially in the area of mutual utilisation of resources when dealing with cases of hate speech in the media;
  • Media should report on hate speech, but to highlight it as such and clearly make clear that this has to do with that kind of problem;
  • Increase the engagement of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination in identifying cases of hate speech, especially in the area of punishment;
  • Journalists or individuals who use the media to spread hate speech, should bear the appropriate responsibility, and journalists should unite in their distancing from the media space;
  • It is necessary to have coordination and harmonization between various institutions, organizations and networks in fighting against hate speech and discrimination;
  • The impact of centres of power and political influence on media operations should be diminished;
  • There is a need for professionalization of the work of journalists in the public service and in other media, i.e. focus on continuous education;
  • Self-regulation to be increasingly used as a mechanism for reaction against hate speech, insult, defamation and other phenomena of violations of Code of journalists;
  • Debate should take place whether there is a need for co-regulation in the media, or discussion about the need of introducing amendments in the legal framework;
  • Newsrooms should posses their own Code that will be respected within the newsroom, and Internet portals should agree on internal principles of conduct;
  • New Code on print, electronic and online media to be designed.

„Editors about hate speech in the media

slika7Ethical reporting and perspectives of media self-regulation, (non) balance in journalistic reporting, online media ethics, media coverage of the elections and the role of the media in the electoral process were the main topics of the conference "Journalism Ethics and media values in a challenging environment and in times of elections“, organized by the Macedonian Institute for Media and the Council of Media Ethics, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Delegation of the European Union.

slika6In the period 19-21 November 2015, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) in collaboration with the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) organized the workshop "Professionalism and ethics in media and inclusive reporting". The event was targeting members of the Council of Honor of AJM, including members of the Press Complaints Commission of CMEM.

On 10 November, Macedonian Institute for Media and the Council of Media Ethics, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Delegation of the European Union, are organising the national conference on „Journalistic ethics and media values in challenging environment and during elections”.

The event will take place at Hotel „Holiday Inn“ (Millenium 2 hall), starting at 11:00h.

What is the essential role of journalists during elections? What is crucial for the objective and professional informing of citizens in the electoral process? What is the role of self-regulatory bodies to ensure a balanced and professional coverage? - These are just some of the questions that we discussed with Martin Huckerby, media expert and a longtime journalist and editor in some of the leading media in the UK.

"Every journalist should consider whether and how to comply with professional standards, if he is overwhelmed by censorship or self-censorship, whether journalistic freedom is subjugated by the economic non-freedom, i.e. by the dependence on wages and political preferences of the employer", Katerina Blazevska says, in the interview for the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia.

Participants in the annual AIPCE meeting, Vienna, October 2015. © UNESCO On 8 and 9 October 2015, UNESCO sponsored the participation of representatives from press councils in South-East Europe to the annual meeting of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils in Europe (AIPCE), a European network of self-regulatory bodies for press and broadcast media.

What are the challenges in the defense of professional and ethical journalism on the Internet and what is the role of the self-regulatory mechanisms? We talked about this with Enes Osmancevic, professor at the Department of Journalism, Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo and member of the Press Council and Internet media in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A proactive approach by journalists and institutions is required to efficiently deal with hate speech and discrimination Journalists and individuals who use the media for delivering hate speech and discrimination, should be legally accountable and editors should encourage journalists to adhere to professional work free of hate speech.

Instead of immediately filling a lawsuit for defamation and insult against journalists, citizens who felt affected by irresponsible media reporting can previously submit complaints to the Council of Media Ethics.

The international cooperation of the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) has been enhanced through a very useful meeting with the colleagues from the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The President of the Press Complaints Committee of the CMEM, Mirce Adamcevski as well as the members Filip Gjurcinovski and Teofil Blazevski, attended a session of the Press Complaints Committee of the Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina.