Skopje, 5 September 2019 – In accordance with its competence to monitor broadcasters’ reporting on gender-related topics and issues, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services inspected the manner in which national television stations reported on the sexist and humiliating statement made by VMRO/DPMNE Spokesman Naum Stoilkovski about the new Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska, in their central newscasts yesterday.

Four of the national television stations reported on the event, while the others made an editorial decision not to report about this event at all. Three television stations took a critical stand, broadcasting as many relevant sources’ standpoints as possible, and put an emphasis on the condemnation of the statement. The public broadcaster’s MRT1 only aired the SDSM’s reaction and the spokesman’s apology, leaving its viewers without the rudimentary information on what event the reactions were about or that sexism was not an acceptable way of communicating. MRT2 aired no information in any of its newscasts’ editorial sections.

Media are independent when it comes to creating their editorial policy, but they should bear in mind that, based on the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, they have an obligation to “contribute to developing and raising the awareness on equal opportunities”. It is to be expected that they should fulfill this role through critical reporting on an event which, according to the professional journalistic standards and parameters, constitutes “news” and deserves space in the daily news programmes.

In an attempt to further raise the awareness of the importance of removing gender-based stereotypes and sexism from media reporting, the Agency is urging broadcasters to air the videos of the “Sexism Humiliates” campaign again. The videos are available on the Agency’s YouTube channel.