The media workers from the Southeastern region requested systematic support to CMEM as an independent self-regulatory body

The media workers from the Southeastern region requested systematic support to CMEM as an independent self-regulatory body

Strengthening of the capacities of CMEM as an independent body, its wider promotion and transparency, securing models of stable financing. The afore-stated were the recommendation by the media workers and journalists from the Southeastern Planning Region within the framework of the project entitled ‘Support to Freedom of Expression in the Media in North Macedonia’ implemented by CMEM with the support of the EU Delegation to our country that debated on the topic of ‘Self-Regulation and Its Development and Challenges’.

The aim of the meeting was to have an insight into the media workers’ opinions regarding the work and functioning of this body, as well as to put forward recommendations for the future having in mind that such a body is essential in the media sphere. Mr. Mirche Adamchevski, the President of the Complaints Commission within CMEM, addressed the attendees and elaborated on the seven-year-development of this independent body, its relevance as well as its cooperation with the other social stakeholders in the state.

‘Media self-regulation is a mechanism that provides for the balance between the freedom of media and the tendency of its abuse. Our primary objective is to safeguard the principles of ethic and professional journalism with adherence to human rights without jeopardizing the editor’s policy. We have established cooperation with all media and journalistic associations. We are part of the Network for Fight against Hate Speech and we have established cooperation with the Ombudsman. Our role is to safeguard media freedom, and protect the public against abuse of media freedom,’ stated Mr. Adamchevski. As a President of the Complaints Commission he underlined that they had received hundreds of complaints and appeals primarily with reference to infringement of Article 1 from the Code of Journalists, which refers to presenting accurate and verified information.

In the course of the debate particular emphasis was placed on the necessity of systematic support to the self-regulatory body taking into account that the work and functioning of CMEM does not only encompass acting upon appeals and complaints about non-professional reporting. Namely, the self-regulatory body, together with the other media organizations is actively engaged in creating models for highlighting professional journalism, media literacy, media freedom, and safeguarding the public against misuse of the media freedom at the same time. Due to the afore-stated, and as underlined by Mr. Adamchevski, a Register of Professional Online Media has been created, currently consisting of 151 members that have pledged to abide by the Code of Journalists with reference to presenting information, and with transparent disclosure of the editorial team and ownership structure. This Register of Professional Media publicly pledging for professional reporting is available at

Several models of support to self-regulatory bodies in a number of countries in Europe were presented in view of the fact that these bodies have administrative and technical services, complaints commissions, and they require resources for different types of activities, such as research, publications, campaigns, etc. In some of the European countries, self-regulation is supported by the media organizations themselves whereas in others they are supported not only by the media but also by the state, and this support is unconditional without any exerted pressure. As regards the Balkan countries, these self-regulatory bodies are predominantly financed by donors.

‘For the purpose of maintaining and promoting ethical reporting in media, systematic support is required. This issue has already been discussed within the CMEM bodies, and I am convinced that we shall find a suitable model so as to strengthen this body with stable sources of financing due to the fact that we have been operating by virtue of donors’ support’, stated Mr. Adamchevski.

The journalists from the Southeastern region are of the opinion that proper conditions are to be created for the strengthening of the capacities and role of CMEM as a relevant body, and for the purpose of avoiding regulation on the part of the state, and protecting the public against misuse of media freedom. They have proposed producing and broadcasting video spots on media literacy and the significance of professional reporting by the members of the Register of Professional Online Media. Additionally, they have proposed seeking out a model for support to CMEM by the state via the competent national communication and media agencies. Being aware of the financial situation of media, the journalists stated that they were skeptical whether the self-financing of the self-regulatory body would succeed, but, nonetheless unconditional support by the state remained essential.

The series of meetings dwelling on the models of systematic support to CMEM shall continue with respect to the other planning regions within the country.

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