The percentage of citizens who know what both regulatory bodies are in the sphere of media and electronic communication and what their responsibilities are, is small. This was the conclusion of the presentation of the final monitoring report on the work of the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC) and Agency for audio and audiovisual media services(AVMU).
In the last 18 months, “Evrotink” in cooperation with “HBO Infocentar”, “Transparency Macedonia” and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, monitored the work of the two agencies, their transparency and the perception about them in the general public. The final monitoring report presented today was preceded by five quarterly reports that are now publicly available.
The general recommendation from the representatives of the organizations that worked the report is that both regulators should be more engaged in informing the public about their competencies and for the assistance they can provide. Moreover, as communicologist Sead Dzigal said, in this digital era it should not be done only one- way, but both agencies should be ready for two- way communication.
Although at the beginning of the project, funded by the British embassy, there was certain mistrust among the institutions, they then started great cooperation with the conductors of the observation, which is commendable, said British Ambassador, Charles Garrett.
The AEC Director, Sasho Dimitrijoski and the director of AVMU Zoran Trajchevski, they have come to insight into certain problems from cooperation with civil society organizations, which has led to improvement of their work. As the presenters pointed out, it is commendable that AEC, unlike the situation when donating money for the JSP Panoramic Wheel, stopped such practice.
Minister of Information society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, talking about amendments to the Law for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, stressed that he should bring professionalism to the Council of AVMU and to MRT( Macedonian Radio and Televison) Program Council in order to politics finally take off the hands from the media. Manchevski pointed out that the members of the AVMU and MRT Council and the Commission in AEC are still senior party officials.
He stressed that the Government was occupied with the main aspects of the media reforms and said that additional engagement is needed for all, for the media sphere to be controlled by self-regulation, rather than the state and political structures.
According to PhD Snezana Trpevska, a media expert, they are late with media reforms and great deal of engagement will be needed to sort things out in the media sector in the future.
The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macedonia “. The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.