The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Macedonian Independent Syndicate of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) expressed their concern about the situation of local and regional broadcasters, who announced they will go on strike by stopping the program temporarily.

“This decision by local and regional broadcasters comes after the Government’s decree from the 30th of May 2020, according to which money from the COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to provide support for a group of media. With this decree, the five national broadcasters (Kanal 5, Sitel, Alfa, Telma, and Alsat-M) including the remaining regional broadcasters that have a license to broadcast via digital terrestrial multiplex, the Government will cover an annual expense towards the A1 operator in the amount of half a million euros” said the press release issued by AJM and SSNM.

The press release also states that the decision by the government is discriminating against the remaining broadcasters that were not included in this measure and will disrupt the media market further by damaging these media.

“What worries us is that the government didn’t take into account the regional and local media that according to all available data, both in the world and domestically, are hit by economic problems more than the others. We remind that the information from the local communities is of great importance for informing the citizens, especially during this critical period. We call upon the Government to reassess this decree, in order to include all broadcasters that meet the criteria for concession. That means, apart from the local and the remaining national broadcasters that do not broadcast through a terrestrial multiplex, but have higher expenses for broadcasting the signal, should also be encompassed with this decree, without discriminating the media on any ground” said AJM and SSNM.

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This article was produced within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory“, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and the Society “Metamorphosis”, with financial support by the Foundation “Open Society – Macedonia”.

The content is sole responsibility of its authors and in no way whatsoever could be understood as a representation of the views of the Foundation “Open Society – Macedonia”.