The Journalists Association of Macedonia, the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers, and the Council for Ethics in the Media of Macedonia submitted remarks to the Ministry of Information Society and Administration regarding the draft law amending and supplementing the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services.

Journalists’ organizations consider that one percent of the state budget should be allocated to finance MRT (Macedonian Radio&Television), because they believe that MRT is poorly equipped, there is no correspondent network, employees have low salaries, and a new experienced and quality journalist and other creative personnel is needed.

The state budget for 2017 is about 3 billion euros, which means that for the public broadcasting service, if this proposal is approved, 30 million euros would be allocated annually.

According to the annual report, last year, MRT had total income of around 19 million euros, of which about 13 million, or 67 percents, were from the broadcasting fee.

With the amendments of the law it is envisaged that the second MRT channel will grow into a separate channel with a 24-hour program in Albanian, and the program of the other ethnic communities will be transferred to the third channel. All these obligations of MRT require a significant fund increase for its normal functioning as an independent and professional public service, which will be in the service of the citizens.

With the proposal to amend this crucial law, it will be formally fulfilled one of the heavy charged obligations of the Government “3-6-9” Plan, for the first three months of its work, as well as from the urgent priority reforms in the part of the media.