Skopje, 28 July 2020 – The Council of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services categorically rejects the allegations of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia that the Agency Director tried to exert influence on the members of the Council to reach a decision to the detriment of Alsat-M TV and Telma TV, at the Council’s session held on 15 July 2020.

The Agency Council, as determined by law, reaches its decisions by a majority vote out of the total number of members, based on materials prepared by the Agency’s Professional Service. The monitoring reports contain, inter alia, findings of the monitoring, description of the violation, and a proposed measure. During the sessions, it is common practice to open a discussion on the points of the Agenda, within which the individual opinions and views are expressed and knowledge and information related to the materials being discussed are shared. At the above-mentioned session, the Council unanimously reached a decision to initiate misdemeanor proceedings against Telma TV and Alsat-M TV for having violated the election silence.

The Agency Director’s address regarding Telma TV’s violation of the election silence, in which he presented the information received, cannot be interpreted as an attempt at exerting influence. On the contrary, the Members of the Council should be acquainted with everything that is going on in the media sphere, especially when it comes to serious issues such as exerting pressure on the media. Such issues should be in the focus of public discussions and instead of “labelling” those who disclose such information, the parties concerned should make efforts to overcome these phenomena and encourage the entities that have suffered damage to seek action from the competent authorities.