30.01.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice/MDG The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Skopje hosts Media training event for the Members of the Council of Honor

©David Bailey - Building of national public broadcaster MRTV in Skopje

Improving the image of professional journalism in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, especially with regard to eradicating hate speech on diverse grounds including ethnic background, is of crucial importance. With a view to protect and promote professional standards in journalism and freedom of expression and to address current challenges, particularly in relation to the ethnic polarization of press coverage of sensitive topics, the Association of Journalists of the country has approached successfully UNESCO to support the project on Fostering Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in the Media Community within the United Nations Joint Programme “Enhancing Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration”. The first project activity was convened from 27 to 28 January 2012, with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Skopje.

The main goal of the project is to raise the bar of journalistic professionalism and to increase the level of cooperation among journalists from different backgrounds. Secondary goals of the project are to offer free legal assistance to all members of the Association, as well as to raise the awareness of journalists and the wider public about the activities of the Association and the Council of Honor.

The project is implemented over a five-month duration and running from January through May 2012. In its scope, it covers the following activities: enhancing the functioning of the Council of Honor; improving the capacity of the national public broadcaster MRTV to promote interethnic dialogue within the society; and, fostering the process of cooperation among journalists and different media outlets in the area of reporting on sensitive issues and providing training for young or future journalists:

The project addresses the following target groups: members of the Council of Honor, employees of MRTV and other commercial media, students in their final years of studies in journalism at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje and the State University of Tetovo, as well as other journalists, the media owners and managers, and the wider public.

This project is implemented within the United Nations Joint Programme to Enhance Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, implemented by UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF with financial support from the Government of Spain under the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F).

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