At the beginning of the election campaign in Macedonia, the Council for Media Ethics (CMEM) calls for full professional responsibility in journalism, promotion of participatory political process and a continued public access to relevant and reliable information.
The media should not let themselves be manipulated by politicians and other actors in the electoral political process, because it means a direct harm to the public and citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
More than ever, there is a need for balanced and fair reporting in order to enable the public to understand and participate in the political process.
We expect the media not to incite differences and divisions among people, but instead to be a catalyst and platform for active dialogue and in this process they should be guided by the principles of professional reporting. In this context, we call for strict adherence to the Charter of Ethical Reporting on the Elections, which was signed by most of the media in the country in February this year, but in practice it was not consistently respected. The same is indicated in this year's European Commission Progress Report for Macedonia, which the need to develop a culture of professional ethics in the media is strongly emphasized.
We remind and call all media once again to strictly adhere to the principles in the Charter for Ethical Reporting on the Elections:
- Truthfulness and objectivity
- A clear distinction between information and comments
- Honesty and independence
- Professional solidarity among the media
- Editorial independence and professional integrity
- Respect and tolerance
- Freedom and responsibility.
We call all the media, particularly the existing and future members of the CMEM, to respect the principles in the Charter and the Code of Journalists and we remind them that their active membership in the Council will depend upon this commitment.