First Report on the Media Coverage of the 2019 Presidential Elections Published

Skopje, 14 March 2019 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services prepared the First Monitoring Report on the Media Coverage of the 2019 Presidential Elections, covering the period from 9 February until 6 March 2019. The report analyzed the 24-hour programmes of the television and radio channels of the Public Broadcaster in the Macedonian and Albanian languages, as well as 11 national television stations.

The monitoring results showed no violations of the Electoral Code provisions during this period.  As regards the appearance of a MRT1 female journalist as a host of the 18th Conference of the VMRO/DPMNE Women’s Union, this was not found to be a violation because she did not appear in the news items dedicated to this event in the programmes of the broadcasters monitored. The Agency sent a notification to the public broadcasting service about the need to observe strictly the legal provision according to which the editors, journalists, hosts or presenters in the radio and television programmes must not at the same time take part in the pre-election activities of any political parties.

The topic that received continuous attention in the daily information shows of the media was the preparations for the elections of a state president, the three candidates in particular. At the same time, the media reported on the daily inter-party communications, which reflected the rivalry among the political parties, SDSM and the VMRO/DPMNE especially. In this, the differentiation between the Government and the ruling parties was often blurred, i.e. the party-related competences and the competences of the state bodies or the office holders were mixed both when addressing the accusations and when providing the answers.

The Public Broadcasting Service met the obligations to provide information for the persons with hearing impairments, and to air debates and information from the State Election Commission about the electoral process. Information for the persons with hearing impairments was also provided by 24 Vesti TV.

The First Report on the Media Coverage of the 2019 Presidential Elections is available at this link.