» UNESCO sponsored survey strengthens media self-regulation mechanism in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedon...
23.09.2016 - Communication & Information Sector

UNESCO sponsored survey strengthens media self-regulation mechanism in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

TV debate with media experts from CMEM. © CMEM

The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) has published a survey aimed to evaluate CMEM’s role with regard to strengthening quality media and solidifying media self-regulation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. CMEM’s cooperation with the civil society and its impact on the media community was also assessed in the survey. Its results were presented during a press conference in Skopje on 28 June 2016. The survey was developed in the framework of the EU-UNESCO-funded Project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey”.

Since its establishment, CMEM has received more than 120 complaints about potential breaches of the Code of journalistic ethics of the country. The survey reveals that 71% of the respondents know how to file a complaint with the Council. It was noted that though all respondents are aware of the existence of CMEM, extra efforts are needed to raise awareness regarding the role of media self-regulation in strengthening quality journalism in the country. The report also analyses the role of the press council as per regulating online media. A majority of the respondents are of the opinion that specific ethical norms should be the same for online and traditional media.

The results of the assessment were widely publicised throughout the country. Four TV debates have been broadcasted from June to September 2016 on TV24 to present the survey’s outcomes to citizens. The debates convened media experts from CMEM, academia and the civil society. The survey as well as the TV debates highlighted the positive impact of the press council in improving professional and ethical reporting in the country.

CMEM was founded in 2013 with the objective to self-regulate the media and adjudicate citizens' complaints about a breach of the Code of journalistic ethics. CMEM is also engaged in raising public awareness regarding media ethics, media quality and the role of a press council. This first assessment sponsored by UNESCO was key for the Council to identify its weaknesses, to understand the civil society’s expectations and define future communication strategies. 

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