Skopje, 07.06.2016 – The Follow-Up on the “Speak-Up” Conference was held in Skopje today, as part of the EU efforts to support freedom of expression and the freedom of media.
The Conference was opened by the Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Macedonia, Ambassador AIvo Orav, who underlined, in his address, the importance of the freedom of expression, the role of the media and the challenges of balanced and fair reporting, the transparency of media financing and the achievement of European standards in the media sphere as a true challenge for the majority of countries in the region. He also stressed that the EU had been continuously supporting media reforms in the country, mentioning as examples the recently awarded grants to seven civic organizations and the supply of equipment for the Agency for Audio and Audioviusal Media Services and its system for monitoring media contents.
At the Conference, representatives of and experts in the media sphere, civil-society and non-governmental associations spoke about media’s responsibility as protectors of human rights, democracy and public interest, and about the role of various stakeholders – media assocaitions, civil society organizatons, journalists, trade unions and educational institutions.
On this occasion, the Director of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, Mr. Zoran Trajcevski, Ph.D., spoke about the role of the regulator in the protection of human rights in the media. He pointed out that the work of the regulatory authority evolved in two directions: the educational activities on one hand and the the supervision of and actions against the media, on the other.
“The rise of professional standards in the media is a process that cannot take place overnight, nor can it be achieved solely by the regulator. Action is needed on the part of a number of entities: first, the media themselves, then, the educational sphere, the journalists’ associations, the civic and professional organizations active in the media sphere, etc.,” Mr. Trajcevski underlined.
Also presented at the Conference was the start of an EU Project on “Media Literacy in an Era of an Information Tide: Establishing a Macedonian Coalition on Media and Information Literacy”, aimed to promote media literacy in the country.