Skopje, 18 July 2019 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services is unpleasantly surprised by today’s press release of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, in which it tendentiously suggests that the Agency did not take any action regarding the possible abuse of 1 TV for illegal activities.

The actions of Bojan Jovanovski and the possible abuse of the media outlet on his part are an issue to be looked into by the prosecution, the judiciary, the financial police – and not by the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, which monitors observance of the media-related laws. In this context, the Agency continuously conducts supervision over the broadcasters, the ownership structure rules being no exception. Thus, on 4 July 2019, a decision was reached to initiate a procedure to inspect the claims that Bojan Jovanovski owns 1 TV, i.e. that he is an illicit co-owner. A procedure had also been initiated (in February 2019) as a result of the nomination of the spouse of one of the founders of 1 TV as a holder of public office. Public reactions were also released due to violations of the programme standards and the threats against a female journalist from another media outlet because of her criticism against a show that had been aired on 1 TV.

Media-related laws do not authorize the regulatory body to investigate into the origin of capital. Therefore, the Agency has been surprised by the AJM’s request to conduct urgent ad hoc supervision in order to determine whether the 1TV has violated the provisions of the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services and, bearing in mind what has been stated above, it is unclear what AJM expects to be found by means of the requested supervision.

Any different presentation of the Agency’s competences and work to the public is nothing else but one more try in the series of attempts at its discrediting, with the aim of justifying the overall failure of all relevant stakeholders in the media sphere to create a favorable environment for media’s work.

The Agency has reiterated on a number of occasions that staff changes are not a solution for the current situation in the media, and that the circumstances require joint action on the part of the regulator, the AJM, the competent trade union, the Council for Ethics and the media workers.