Skopje, 21.09.2017 – The fourth ten-day report on the monitoring of election-related media coverage in the period from 16 to 24 September 2017, indicates that the majority of television and radio stations have been abiding by the professional standards, some of them taking a critical stand towards the government. Yet, several programming services have manifested deviance from this practice.

The general conclusion is that, in addition to the regular everyday information, the media outlets have been elaborating on the topic of ‘local elections’ increasingly implementing an analytical approach, as this was a period of official party mayoral candidacies, the insight into the unique Voters’ List was closed and the start of the election campaign was approaching.

During this period, when reporting on the political parties, the First Programming Service of Makedonska Televizija (Channel 1 of the Macedonian Radio and Television) – MRT 1, was completely focused on the two largest ones – of both the opposition and the government, and virtually had no reports on the other parties or independent candidates who were also preparing candidate lists and had other activities as well.

The manner in which Alfa TV and Nova TV reported points to violation of the principle for objective and unbiased depiction of the events, providing equal treatment for the diverse standpoints and opinions, and one could also notice elements suggesting relatedness between the editorial policies, particularly in terms of treating the issue of the migrants, the departure of foreign investors from Macedonia, the publishing of an alleged MCIC public opinion poll, which MCIC denied, etc.

Although in the previous four reporting periods, the Radio Slobodna Makedonija (Radio Free Macedonia) did not reach the two-hour threshold that would be sufficient to draw methodological conclusions, it is still noticeable that the Radio was focused on conveying information about one political party, while it virtually airs no information about other political parties.

The fourth ten-day report is available at the following link.