Skopje, 22 September 2017 – In accordance with the timetable for election-related activities, the election campaign for the 2017 Local Elections starts on Monday. The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services has informed
the broadcasters in writing that it would continue the monitoring of the media coverage of the elections, in line with the provisions of the Electoral Code applicable during an election campaign.
In this period of the electoral process, broadcasters that have decided to cover the elections should meet the obligation to report in a fair, balanced and unbiased manner throughout their entire programmes, and provide the participants in the campaign with equal access to all forms of electoral presentation in the media. Reporting on the regular activities of the state authorities, the municipal authorities and the City of Skopje, as well as the state institutions and organizations and the legal entities with public competences, must not be done in a way that serves as electoral presentation in the media of any political entity. Broadcasters will be respecting the rules for paid political advertising, with the exception of the public broadcaster and in case of publishing results of public opinion polls elated to the participants in the electoral process.
Special rules apply to the Public Broadcaster during the election campaign. It should provide equal access in its information programme, where 30% of the time will be dedicated to the daily events in the country and throughout the world, another 30 % – to the activities of the ruling political parties, yet another 30 % to the activities of the opposition political parties, and 10 % – to the activities of the political parties that are not represented in the Macedonian Parliament. During both the first and the second election rounds, it should air free political presentation of the participants in the electoral process, while, from the day of announcing the elections until the pre-election silence, it should be organizing debate shows i.e. face-offs of the largest ruling and opposition political parties, as well as the other participants in the electoral process.
The programming service dedicated to broadcasting the activities of the Parliament of RM should provide free political presentation of the campaigns of the political parties represented in Parliament for a duration of three hours, as well as one hour of free political presentation of the campaigns of the submitters of lists who are not represented in Parliament.
During the election campaign, the Agency will publish two separate reports on the manner of covering the elections for each of the media subject to monitoring, within two reporting periods. The first report will cover the period 25 September 2017 – 4 October 2017, while the second report will cover the period 5-13 October 2017.
More detailed information about the rules for electoral media coverage and on how the Agency conducts the monitoring can be found in the Electoral Code and in the Monitoring Methodology, both available on the banner ELECTIONS 2017.
The letter that the Agency sent to the broadcasters concerning the monitoring during the election campaign is available at thislink