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Working Meeting Held on Two Draft Documents Prepared by the Agency

 Skopje, 17 September 2018 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services held a working meeting today, at which it presented the Draft-Methodology for Monitoring Electoral Media Coverage by the Radio and Television Programming Services during Electoral Processes, and the Draft Guidelines on Meeting the Obligations to Publish Impressums and Information That Should be Made Available to the Users. The goal of the meeting was to hear the standpoints of all parties concerned with regard to these documents.

“Pursuant to the latest amendments to the Electoral Code of 30 July 2018, related to the electoral media coverage and the Agency’s competences, the Agency has an obligation to adopt a methodology for monitoring electoral media coverage by the radio and television programming services within 60 days from the day this Code was adopted. Hence, the Agency had prepared this draft-text, which was adopted by the agency Council and a there is still an ongoing public debate on it, until 22 September 2018,” Agency Director Zoran Trajchevski stressed at the beginning of the meeting.

The Draft Methodology sublimates all relevant provisions concerning media coverage during elections and defines the way in which the Agency shall be performing the monitoring. At this meeting, a detailed explanation was provided of the specificities that had resulted from the latest amendments to the Electoral Code and that had been included in this document. Some of the amendments refer to the reduced duration of paid political advertising, which now amounts to 9 minutes (4 minutes for the ruling parties and the opposition, respectively, and 1 minute for the parties that do not have an MP group but are represented in the Parliament of the RM), as well as to the advertisements and announcements for collecting signatures in support of candidacy by groups of electors, which, from the day of announcing elections until the start of the election campaign are exempt from the ban for paid political advertising. More specifically defined was also the part referring to the period covered for conducting the monitoring, the reporting on the government’s activities, and hate speech.

The meeting continued with an explication of the text of the Draft Guidelines on Meeting the Obligations to Publish Impressums and Information That Should Be Made Available to the Users, for which the public debate had ended on 27 August 2018, and on which the Agency had received opinions and remarks by several broadcasters. These Guidelines define the manner in which all broadcasters should act when performing their obligations arising from the Media Law and its section referring to publishing Impressums, and from the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services regarding the information that should be made available to the users.

The presentation of the Draft Methodology on Monitoring Electoral Media Coverage by the Radio and Television Programming services during Electoral Processes is available at this link.

The Draft Guidelines on Meeting the Obligations to Publish Impressums and Information That Should Be Made Available to the Users are available at this  кlink..