Report on the Media Coverage during the First Round of the 2024 Presidential Election Campaign

Skopje, 2 May 2024 – Today, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services published the its report on the manner of broadcasters’ reporting during the first round of the Presidential Election campaign in the period from April 4 to 22, 2024. The monitoring covered 13 programming services, i.e. the national commercial television stations of Alsat-M, Alfa, Kanal 5, Sitel, Telma, 24 Vesti, 21-M, Shenja, Klan Makedonija and Sonce, and the programming channels of the Public Broadcaster – MRT 1, MRT 2 and the Parliament’s Channel.

The findings of the monitoring showed that virtually all television stations had respected the principle of equal treatment in the electoral media coverage of the candidates for President of the State in their respective newscasts. All television channels had separated their coverages of the presidential campaigning activities within special information sections, where they had aired highlights extracted from the candidates’ addresses to the voters. The only ones to make interviews with all seven presidential candidates were the First Programming Service of the Macedonian Radio Television and 24 Vesti TV.

As regards the debates, only MRT 1 managed to organize a debate face-off attended by all seven candidates for President of the State.

In terms of the audiovisual quality of the reporting on the presidential campaign, due to the lack of an efficient network of correspondents, staffed with uniform production standards, the editorial offices were forced to adapt audiovisual election-related materials sent either by the communication/marketing teams of the presidential candidates or taken from the latter’s official profiles on the social networks, which was evident from the method of recording/framing applied, the scenography/ambience setting for the electoral coverage and from the additional graphic processing of the audiovisual material presented by the media outlets.

With the exception of TV Klan Macedonia, which, contrary to the Electoral Code, had failed to provide information about the electoral process in a format accessible for persons with disabilities, all other programming services that were covered by the monitoring had managed to provide one edition of the central TV journals daily and one edition of a current-information show weekly, with subtitles or with sign language translation for the persons with sensory impairments.

The Report on the Broadcasters’ Manner of Reporting in the First Round of the 2024 Presidential Election Campaign is available at this link.