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.

The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, on the occasion of the World Day of Press Freedom, appeals for continuation of the discussion to restore and improve media accountability and public confidence in the journalistic profession. Free media are a necessary precondition for a strong democracy and they must not be unethical, unfair and undemocratic, as well as a promoter of a biased and ideological debate.

Self-regulation is a system of rules that are established by the media to protect their own business and gain more confidence among the public. The essence of the media business lies in information, i.e. through accurate, objective and complete informing of the public and all of this done while respecting ethical rules. Thus, self-regulation protects universal human rights - freedom of expression and right to information (free and professional media)