After the start of the election campaign for the local elections in 2013, the Rulebook on equal approach in media presentation during the election campaign, regulating all issues related to the obligation of broadcasters to allow organisers of the election campaign equal conditions for access to all forms of media presentation, is in force.
The Broadcasting Council reminds the television and radio stations that they should comply with the professional journalistic principles and standards, so that in the news they would provide balance in reporting and in debates, interviews and other information programmes – equal conditions for participation. If editors, journalists, hosts and programme presenters decide to become actively involved in someone’s campaign, then, their involvement in the broadcaster should hold.
It is extremely important that media make sure that they are not a source of hate speech and take care not to contribute to its further spreading. In reporting on the possible occurrences of hate speech in the debate between political entities, although the responsibility for such statements is ultimately of the individual or the political entity giving such a statement, media should however inform professionally, that is, balance the statement so as to provide and opposing view, put it in an appropriate context and clearly show that it does not support such a statement.
The Council also reminds of the rules for broadcasting of paid political advertising: that it should be properly and clearly marked as “paid political advertising” for the entire duration of the broadcast, the ordering party should be clearly identified, minors may not participate in it, and it should not be broadcasted in the news and other daily information programmes, or shown within children, school and educational programmes, in live coverage of religious, sports, cultural, entertainment and other events and in special informative programmes.
The Council, as always, conducts monitoring of the media coverage of the election campaign of all broadcasters in the Republic of Macedonia and if violations of the election regulations are detected, it will act in accordance with its legal responsibilities.