AVMU Expresses Support to the Critical/Analytical Media Voices

Skopje, 26 January 2024 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services joins in the efforts of the US Government, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Macedonian Public Broadcaster to support the critical voices reporting on topics that are important to the citizens and will help them make informed decisions. The Agency recognizes both the citizens’ need and the obligation of the domestic institutions to support quality and content that will help create an informed electorate that will be better acquainted with the problems in the sphere of corruption and the rule of law in conditions where these problems are insufficiently represented in the media.

We hereby inform the public that, as part of our commitments, we have provided a donation amounting to 5 million denars for the activities and contents of the Investigative Reporting Lab (IRL), a non-profit media organization whose reporting is focused on corruption, crime and good governance.

These activities match the goals and values of AVMU to protect citizens’ interests, provide quality information and pluralism in reporting and to support the existence of diverse, independent and autonomous audio and audiovisual media services.

In the coming period, within the frameworks of this donation, the IRL will implement the innovative model of multimedia storytelling, to report on topics that are important to the citizens and will help them make informed decisions – political propaganda during elections and the rule of law.

  • IRL’s reporting in the pre-election period shall focus on checking the facts that the political candidates will be presenting at their public appearances, participation as guests in debate shows, public discussions and debates, public opinion surveys, PR announcements or promises that are repeated in nearly all election platforms.
  • Reporting on the problems in the judiciary sphere shall be focused on the potential conflicts of interest stemming from the personal connections of the judges and prosecutors, and the citizens shall receive the right information about those who investigate, prosecute and adjudicate on their behalf.
  • Support shall be extended for the training of young journalist and production staff in order to improve the labour market in the media industry.

The products released within the frameworks of this donation shall be an added value to the organization’s activities that have the support of the governments of the USA and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Public Broadcaster, which the AVMU joins in as well.

In the past five years, IRL’s investigations have stirred diverse institutional, both domestic and international, reactions, have initiated court trials, proceedings before the prosecutor’s office and the Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as initiatives for changes in both the institutional protocols and the legislation. The show titled “Editorial Office,” co-produced by the Macedonian Public Broadcasting Service and the IRL, showed that media products financed from the state budget may have a twice as high return on the investment, which will be of benefit to all citizens of the state.

The AVMU will continue to provide continuous support to the critical voices of various media organizations in the next budget year as well, with the aim of improving the quality of information and the distribution of quality information, following the example of the EU countries. We shall continue our efforts along these lines, for institutional support to journalists and media workers, by establishing a Fund for Media Pluralism.