The Association of Journalists in Macedonia (AJM) and the Independent Syndicate of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) aren’t surprised by the data from the latest Rule book on internal organization and systematization of job positions at the Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) which indicates that the national broadcasting service lacks 469 employees out of which 202 journalists.

According to the data provided by AJM, there is no publicly available analysis conducted by MRT’s departments about the real needs of journalists and media workers necessary for the public broadcasting service’s operations, especially with the opening of several new television channels. AJM states that their members from this broadcasting service confirm the lack of journalists working at news programs and the need for news correspondent networks locally and abroad is also evident.

“It is important to stress that the number of employees isn’t the only important factor for the creation of quality content, but how many of them can do their tasks regularly and conscientiously, the assets they will have at their disposal and whether the newly employed or the part-time hired personnel are going through internal training within the ranks of this medium through previously determined rules and procedures,” said AJM for Meta.mk.

SSNM considers that the number of employees at the public broadcasting service is far from enough, taking into account the increased scope of responsibilities, programs, and channels that have occurred in the past two years.

-SSNM didn’t take part in the creation of the systematization at MRT since the number of our members there is negligible and MRT has its own syndicate that we rarely hear about its activities. Still, the very fact that there are 50% fewer employees out of the initial planning, indicates that at the moment MRT cannot perform its duties as a public broadcasting service – said SSNM for Meta.mk.

The Rule book on internal organization and systematization of job positions at the Macedonian Radio Television states that in order to be able to maintain a news correspondent network it needs 26 journalists and 10 cameramen. At the moment, there are 11 journalists and 1 camera operator. At the same time, MRT has only one foreign news correspondent and no cameramen.

AJM informs that it has been lobbying for a while for the renewal of MRT’s news correspondents including opening of at least eight news bureaus in the country.

– There is little progress concerning this issue and MRT has recently temporarily hired several news correspondents but we think this is not enough – AJM said.

The Association also said that the national broadcasting service has to have foreign correspondents in the capitals of neighboring countries including the countries that are considered as strategic partners.

The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macefoom-logo-disklejmerdonia “. 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”.