On 25 February, the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM), organised a thematic debate on “The Media, Elections and the role of Self-Regulation“, which took place at Hotel Crystal Palace, in Prilep.

The debate focused on the importance and prospects of self-regulation, as well as the experience of the Council of Media Ethics and its cooperation with similar bodies in the international arena. "This event is part of a series of debates that we are organising throughout the country, to present the work of the Council of Media Ethics and to talk about most common trends of breaches of ethics in reporting," said Marina Tuneva, the Director of CMEM.

The fashion in which CMEM acts in regard to cases of unprofessional and unethical journalism was discussed as well. „Citizens, NGOs and journalists address their complaints to the Press Complaints Commission within the CMEM. They mostly refer to unethical reporting, excluding the second party in the case being reported, hate speech in reporting, violation of privacy, violation of human rights. We as a Body, endorse decisions and in case there are violations, we suggest to the media to publish it“, said Mirce Adamcevski, the Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission of CMEM.

Professor Doctor Sefer Tahiri, member of the Press Complaints Commission, noted that although most media recently signed the Charter of CMEM for ethical reporting on elections, it still needs to be applied into practice. "There are cases of unilateral reporting, and the deep division among journalists is evident," says Sefer Tahiri. According to Dragan Antonovski of the Steering Committee of CMEM, journalists are obliged to objectively inform the public, and the media will obtain the public trust through balanced reporting. "Now, the question to which extent, and how we will defend the profession," he said.

Filip Gjurcinovski, Member of the Press Complaints Commission, encouraged citizens to react to irregularities in media reporting and, thus, explained the process of submitting complaints to CMEM.

CMEM is citizens’ association, established in 2014 by numerous media, and it became operational during last year. The main objective of CMEM is greater degree of respecting ethical standards in journalism, as well as a simplified public approach (citizens, institutions, legal entities) to the media, whenever violation of standards of professional and objective reporting is felt.