Agency starts monitoring media coverage of early parliamentary elections

pres-15.04.2016Skopje, 15.04.2016 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services will be monitoring media coverage of the early parliamentary elections starting today.

The Agency’s monitoring team and several external associates will be following the 24-hour programme of the national televisions and radios on a daily basis. According to the Methodology for Monitoring Media Coverage of Elections in the Radio and Television Programme Services, subject to monitoring during the period from calling the elections until the start of the election campaign will be two television and two radio services of the Public Broadcaster and the Parliamentary Broadcast Service, the five televisions broadcasting programme using the transmission capacity of a digital terrestrial multiplex, the five satellite televisions, the four cable televisions and two of the national commercial radios.

“To date, monitoring has been used to see if the bans on broadcasting advertisements financed from public funds and on airing paid political advertising have been observed. From now on, monitoring shall be extended to cover reporting in the central daily-information programmes, as well as the approach in all information programmes, while, in the case of all other programme services, the Agency shall conduct monitoring based on complaints,” the Agency Director, Mr. Zoran Trajcevski, Ph.D., underlined at today’s press conference.

Also starting to function today is a separate section on the Agency’s website dedicated to the 2016 Elections, where one can find the Electoral Code, the Monitoring Methodology, the Agency’s stances regarding electoral regulations, the materials from the trainings conducted for the broadcasters and a link to the Complaints Form for all citizens and legal entities that have remarks about the reporting by the media. In this section, the Agency will also be publishing the reports on all detected violations against the Electoral Code, on the basis of which misdemeanor proceedings will be initiated before the competent courts. In addition to the Macedonian, this banner operates in Albanian and English as well.

“It would be useful indeed for the country’s democracy if we had no reason to impose any measures and if the media would show people the respect they deserve by reporting in line with the professional principles and standards, by making a clear distinction between facts and commentaries and by not omitting crucial information about developments by replacing the same with reactions,” added Trajcevski.