The European Federation of Journalists (EFN) has given its support to the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM), which oppose the recent changes of the Electoral Code.
According to the changes, paid political advertising regarding the election campaign funded by the state, will be implemented in the private media as well, and in addition, the State Election Commission (SEC) will evaluate online media during the elections. Also, the parties will create a media plan for the implementation regarding paid political advertising. According to journalist associations, it is interference by the government in freedom of the media and the independence of editorial policy.
“These harmful changes to the Electoral Code are not in favour in a situation of blocked media reforms, and will undoubtedly affect both the work of the media and the overall democratic ambiance during the pre-election campaign in a negative way,” read the statement by the EFJ, who also informed the Council of Europe’s platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.