AAAVMU Dedicates First Public Meeting in 2016 to Professional Journalistic Standards

Skopje, 25.03.2016 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services held its first public meeting in 2016, in line with the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services.

The Agency Director, Mr. Zoran Trajcevski, Ph.D., presented the activities the Agency had carried out in the past quarter: the conducted supervisions, the measures imposed, the revoking of licenses due to non-payment of the annual license fee and the granting of one license for television broadcasting at the local level via a public electronic communication network that does not use a limited resource, covering the area of Tetovo municipality.

He further informed about the activities in the sphere of EU integration; the adopted decisions on changes of ownership structure; the handling of complaints and proposals; the analyses on the administrative disputes filed against the Agency’s decisions; the initiated misdemeanour proceedings; the measures undertaken by the Agency in instances of non-compliance with the legal regulations; the monitoring of broadcasters’ ownership structure and their obligations concerning their ownership and financing sources’ transparency; the study aimed at establishing the justifiability of publishing a public competition for granting a radio broadcasting license at the local level, for the area of Gostivar.

For the Agency’s needs, a survey was prepared on the radio stations’ reach and the share of the television stations broadcasting programme at the state level via satellite or via a public electronic communication network and the television stations broadcasting programme at the regional and local levels in the total viewership, covering the fourth quarter of 2015, as was an annual report containing data about the viewership and listenership of the broadcasters’ programme services in 2015.

In the context of the preparations for monitoring media coverage of the 2016 early parliamentary elections, the Agency Director mentioned the adopted Methodology for Monitoring Media Coverage of Elections in the radio and television programme services during the electoral processes, the trainings held for all broadcasters and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the State Election Commission (SEC).

The Agency keeps reminding the owners of all media that they should make a difference among the business, political and private interests and report professionally, making it possible for all media professionals to do their jobs independently and freely. In this regard, Prof. Dr. Jasna Bacovska Nedic, Head of the Journalism, Media and Communication Studies at the “Iustinianus Priumus” Faculty of Law, conveyed her views of the current aspects related to media and journalistic responsibility. She provided a brief review of the strategic goals of the European media systems, the indicators for measuring media integrity, the trends in the journalist profession and journalistic responsibility.

Professional standards as the necessary precondition for media’s work were also tackled by Ms Emilija Petreska-Kamenjarova, M.A., Head of the Human Rights and Media Literacy Division in Programme Affairs Department, who, on behalf of the regulatory authority, reminded of the principles and general programme standards that the broadcasters should strive towards in performing their activities. She also reminded of the programme standards that the Macedonian Radio and Television should implement when producing and supplying radio and TV programmes, in order to meet the public interest.

At the end of the public meeting, the Director of the Agency underlined that, from the moment the elections are announced, the Electoral Code rules would start to apply for the broadcasters and the Agency alike, and the televisions and radios would have to observe the unbiased and balanced reporting requirements, while the Agency would be acting in line with the Code, based on the programmes’ analysis, in the instances of detected failure to ensure pluralism of views.