Professional journalists and media literate audience - key for active citizen participation in social changes

The media literacy of the audience and the educational needs of the journalists were the focus of the expert discussion and the two-day workshop organized by the Macedonian Institute for Media, in cooperation with the Center for Independent Journalism from Romania, as part of the regional project "SEE Partnership for Media Development" funded by the European Commission. The perspectives and the challenges in terms of the introduction of the concept of media literacy in the Macedonian society, as well as the role of the journalism education in terms of the affirmation of the professionalism in the journalistic profession, were the subject of the expert debate which was attended by representatives of the journalism faculties, the secondary schools, the regulatory body, the media and the civil society organizations which are working in the field of media literacy. During the event, the findings and the recommendations of the „Survey on the educational needs of the journalists and the media literacy of the audience in Macedonia“, were presented, which survey was made by the research team of MIM. In terms of the media literacy of the audience, the participants agreed that, despite the engagement of the civil society organizations, there is a need for more active involvement of the relevant state institutions, from the aspect of introducing media literacy in the education at the earliest age, as well as in terms of educating the older audience through campaigns of public interest. The negligence of the professional standards in journalism and the long-lasting crisis in the media sphere have a negative impact on the young journalists and students who are yet to be professionally upgraded. In this regard, the debaters stressed that greater involvement of the journalism faculties is necessary in order to better prepare the future journalists for work in the editorial desks. According to some participants, the faculties should ensure an effective balance between the theoretical and the practical skills, strengthen the cooperation with the media in order to provide practical training for the students, revise the curricula by including local examples from everyday life and educate journalists who will work ethically, professionally and in the interest of the public. Before the expert debate, a two-day workshop was also organized about the role of the media literacy in the more active involvement of the citizens in the democratic processes, which was conducted by Cristina Lupu and Ioana Avadani form the Center for Independent Journalism from Romania, as well as Zoran Bojarovski, a long-time journalist and editor in the Macedonian media. The participants were introduced to the concept of media literacy and its practicing worldwide, compared to the local perspectives, and they also discussed about the role of the different institutional and non-institutional stakeholders in the promotion of the media literacy. They developed ideas for advocacy campaigns about the concept of media literacy and its importance for a democratic society. The report of the "Survey on the educational needs of the journalists and the media literacy of the audience in Macedonia" is available below:

Journalism torn between professional principles and the business

Media business and journalism, and the role of state institutions in protecting media integrity were the main topics of the forum "Media integrity and funding - regional experiences and domestic perspectives", organized by the Macedonian Institute for Media within the project "Southeast European Media Observatory".
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Without engaged citizens, investigative journalism is powerless

Citizens usually do not have a clear idea that enormous sums of public money are in stake in the cases of misuse of budgetary funds by institutions. Therefore, investigative journalists have to find alternative, sometimes visual ways to bring information closer to the citizens. They should put more efforts and energy, as well as devote more attention in order to persuade people to take part with their personal testimonies in the investigative stories.
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Civil society, institutions and citizens - together in enhancing media reforms

MIM in partnership with the Peace Institute from Ljubljana, Slovenia, in the next three years (2016-2018), will implement the project “#ReForMedia – Enhancing the cooperation between the civil society, institutions and citizens for implementing reforms in the media sphere”. The project wants to contribute in increasing the influence of civil society in development and implementation of media reforms in the country. Financial support for the project is provided by the European Union.

"Dossier Telecom" - the best research story at the "EU Award for Investigative Journalism” contest for 2015

The journalist Boris Georgievski won the first prize at this year's "EU Award for Investigative Journalism" contest, for the series of articles titled "Dossier Telecom", published on the web-portal "Prizma". The story reveals the developments related to the "Telecom" corruption affair and the numerous controversies that are associated with the company's operations and the relations with the Macedonian political leadership since 2001.

“Skopje 2014 Uncovered” is the best investigative story in 2015

Team of investigative journalists from BIRN Macedonia won the first place on MIM’s contest for the journalism award “Nikola Mladenov” for best investigative story of 2015. The winning story “Skopje 2014 Uncovered” is awarded for the series of stories and interactive online database that disclose spending the public money for the controversial project “Skopje 2014”.

SEENPM Voices Concerns Over Press Freedom in Turkey

Open Letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Dear President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu, We are concerned that your government uses methods incompatible with a democratic society to exert pressure on media organizations to conform with government policies. Economic pressures are deployed to manipulate news coverage and limit public debate, with wayward journalists fired and independent news outlets denied revenues.
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Regional debates on the rights and responsibilities while communicating on Internet

Copyright protection of Internet content, economic sustainability of the online media, respecting ethical standards  on Internet, difference between the web portals that operate according to the journalistic code and those who violate professional principles, were some of the topics discussed at the regional public debates organized by MIM in Strumica, Tetovo and Bitola, at the beginning of December.

National conference: Journalism ethics and media values in a challenging environment and in times of elections

Ethical reporting and perspectives of media self-regulation, (non) balance in journalistic reporting, online media ethics, media coverage of the elections and the role of the media in the electoral process were the main topics of the conference "Journalism Ethics and media values in a challenging environment and in times of elections“, organized by the Macedonian Institute for Media and the Council of Media Ethics, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Delegation of the European Union.