The goal of the Government is to create space and mechanisms where the media can self-regulate, because they should not be the author of media reforms, said Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski at today’s debate on the draft Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, which the Government organized as a continuation of the current debate with the media and the organizations.
In the nearly two-hour discussion on the extensive bill, leaders from the media and media associations called for more changes to the law, and the head of the AJM, Naser Selmani, who was accompanied by the Secretary General of the association and several members of the board of directors, also strongly criticized the current version of the bill. According to Selmani, the people in government who wrote the text for the law, are enemies of the media, and they also did a lot of damage to the government.
As pointed out by Mancevski and the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Communications, Transparency and Accountability, Robert Popovski, the Government is prepared to accept the remarks and to withdraw some solutions, such as the abolition of the 5.000 euro fine for the media and 1,500 euros fine for the person responsible for unprofessional journalistic reporting and hate speech, which was requested by Selmani and Lazo Petrushevski, the President of the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audio-Intelligent Services, but also other participants.
Regarding MRT, the government’s text of the law has been severely criticized because it provides too little money for the operation of the public broadcasting service, because 0.7% of the state budget is too little money for the public service. The government intends to increase these funds by a further 0.1% each year, and by the end of the four-year mandate, they intend to reach the level of 1% of the budget.