Meeting held with Ambassadors Baily and Orav

Skopje, 05.02.2016 – Yesterday, in the premises of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, a meeting was held with the US and EU Ambassadors to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily and Aivo Orav, respectively.

The meeting was held within the frameworks of the EU and US mission in the period before the dissolution of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia and no later than 20 February, which is aimed at evaluating, in consultation with international and local experts, if the conditions are met for holding credible elections on 24 April 2016.

As Ambassadors Baily and Orav pointed out, in their evaluation, they would be taking into account several measurable criteria: a filtered voters’ list, the functioning of the State Election Commission, freedom of media and voters’ free participation in the elections – without intimidation. As regards media, the fact was emphasized that, in evaluating balanced media reporting, the tone of reporting is of particular importance, and that the assessment of balance is obtained through a rather long and complex analysis.

The Agency Director, Mr. Zoran Trajcevski, Ph.D., underlined that, according to the Agency’s monitoring data, most of the media had never reported in a balanced manner during an election period, due to which measures had been imposed against all broadcasters that had violated the law. Hence the conclusion that, generally, the problem does not lie in the legal solutions but in the manner in which broadcasters practice journalism. Considering the need to work towards increasing broadcasters’ awareness of the observance of the election regulations, the Agency plans to hold trainings for the journalists and media editors, just as it has done during all other election processes.