16.04.2014 Transparency International Macedonia (TIM), an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the values of freedom and democracy, has been systematically monitoring the media coverage of the April presidential and early parliamentary elections. This monitoring is a part of the project that has been conducted in cooperation with a UK-based Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS) and a Slovak media-monitoring organization MEMO 98, funded by the European Union, under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.
“The main goal of the project is to assist our media to play a more constructive and responsible role in the development of democracy” said Slagjana Taseva of TIM. “We would like to offer them international experience in developing impartial and objective reporting practices through a series of targeted trainings. We also hope that our monitoring will initiate a discussion on professional standards,” added Taseva.
“Our monitoring showed that the monitored media in general did not provide objective and balanced coverage of the campaign,” said Rasto Kužel, media monitoring expert from MEMO 98. “Journalists need to be more proactive rather than reactive in their coverage of elections to better facilitate the exchange of opinions, public debate, investigation and commentary that would offer the public fully informed, analyzed and assessed views of persons seeking elected office.”
TIM’s media monitoring was carried out from 17 March through 13 April using qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis and focused on seven television channels (MRT-1, MRT-2, Sitel, Kanal 5, Alsat-M, Telma and Vesti 24), two radio stations (MR-1 and Kanal 77), four newspapers (Dnevnik, Sloboden Pecat, Republika and Focus) and one online media outlet (TV Nova). Quantitative analysis identified numeric measures or indicators that can be counted and analysed, such as the total amount of time devoted to monitored subjects and also the tone of their coverage (positive, negative, or neutral). Qualitative analysis assessed the performance of media against ethical and professional standards.
The overall goal of the project is to provide support to media through training, mentoring, and advocacy to promote their adherence to international best practice and good practice regarding freedom of expression and independence of media. The specific problems identified during the monitoring will be focused on during the next phase of the project by providing targeted trainings to media representatives. The project implementors will issue a comprehensive final monitoring report, including recommendations for potential improvements, in some two weeks.
The project “Support to independent media in Macedonia: Advocacy and training to promote adherence to international best practice” is funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The contents of this press release are the sole responsibility of the implementing partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.