Skopje, 6 September 2017 – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its foundation, yesterday, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services hosted a conference of the media regulatory authorities in the region. Attending the Conference were representatives of the regulatory authorities of Slovenia,
Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Bulgaria, as well as representatives of civic organization active in the media sphere, institutions and media professionals.

The Conference participants discussed the professional journalist standards in the media programmes and the role of the regulatory authorities; political pluralism outside the electoral cycles and the media policy influence on the development of media literacy.

As regards the professional standards, which are subject to self-regulation virtually all around the region, it was concluded that the mechanisms of self-regulation should be strengthened and cooperation among the regulatory and self-regulatory bodies intensified. As for pluralism, it was underlined once again that media need to report on the events objectively and without bias, ensuring equal treatment of diverse views and opinions, so as to enable the public to freely form their opinion about each particular event and issue.

The experiences that the regulatory bodies presented concerning their role and competences with regard to media literacy indicated that practices in the region varied. Although the majority of regulatory bodies do not have any formal responsibility, they still work actively on the promotion of media literacy, since it is the key to a healthy democracy, the most needed response to the changing and rather complex media landscape and can be a tool in promoting fundamental human rights and the fight against radicalization, which is rather present lately.