Skopje, 16 April 2024 – Today, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services published the Second Report on Monitoring Media Coverage of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, covering the period from 8 March to 3 April 2024.

The monitoring included the programming services of nine national broadcasters – MRT1, MRT2, Alsat-M TV, Alpha TV; Kanal 5 TV; Sitel TV; Telma TV; 24 Vesti TV and 21-M TV – focusing on the news items in the central editions of the newscasts/TV journals that were related to the pre-election topics and domestic current-affairs social and political developments, as well as other types of shows within this thematic scope.

As expected, topics concerning the presidential candidates were present in the regular programme time slots for debates and interviews, the main topic being the inclusion of the candidate Stevcho Jakimovski on the USA’s “black list”. Apart from inter-party accusations and partisan speculations, also present in the news were critical journalistic items about the pressing, current problems that contained expert, legal and economic warnings as well as civil-society- or trade-union-organized notices.

In most of the cases, journalists’ experience and professionalism came to the fore in the debates and interviews. The journalistic items and the special current-affairs information shows, in which methodologically-based, verifiable research of the civil-society sector or of foreign institutions that have a real (financial/consultative) stake in the domestic processes were the instigators and drivers of the objective analysis of the socio-political states of play in various sectors, proved as extremely important.

This time too, throughout the monitoring period, absence of the “other side” was noted in certain debates and interviews on some media. In this same context were the complaints of the newsrooms of Alsat-M TV and Alfa TV, concerning various types of boycott and pressure during the journalists’ attempts to communicate with representatives of the ruling parties of DUI and SDSM, exerted on the part of either party members or public office holders in some body of the state administration or in the public institutions/enterprises.

There were no violations of the Electoral Code or the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services on the part of any of the broadcasters.

As for the hearing impaired, only MRT 1 and 24 Vesti TV provided sign language translation in one of their news editions.

The Monitoring Report on the media coverage in the period from 8 March to 3 April 2024 is available at this e link