The attempt for an express adoption of the Media Law by the government came across some strong reactions by journalists, their larger Association (Association of Journalists of Macedonia) and several NGOs. There were numerous allegations for circumvention of the public debate, as well as reactions from the international community, resulting with a slowdown in the adoption of a comprehensive and complex legal text.
Several pro-government newsrooms – unsurprisingly – contributed to the defense of the government’s speediness and the content of the text, without analyzing the essence of the Media Law.
The smaller association of journalists (Macedonian Association of Journalists – MAN) automatically provided its support as well, without respecting the essential remarks and presenting an argument that would support this review of the Media Law.
Minister Ivanovski informed that in terms of transparency of the adoption of the draft law on media and audiovisual services, the Ministry of Information Society and Administration continues its public debate meetings with the social groups” – is stated at the beginning of this article which mainly aims to present the creator of the Law as transparent.
Link to the original article: “Состанок на работниот тим на МИОА и МАН за Нацрт законот за медиуми”
Date and time of publication: April 15, 2013, 5:36p.m.
Review date: 15.04.2013
Reviewer: Ljubomir Kostovski
Accuracy of facts: The main weakness of the theses in the article about MAN’s discussion with Minister Ivanovski is the fact that MAN does not mention the initial contact with the journalist fellowship, on the contrary, some kind of a continuum is created, i.e. the meeting is presented as “one of many”.
After returning from Brussels, where undoubtedly the manner in which he conducts the procedure was criticized, Minister Ivanovski, according to his own words, came to Sitel TV directly from the airport on Monday, so he would have a discussion with representatives of MAN. Here Sitel TV’s newsroom plays an important role, particularly because later that night he went to Sitel’s 2nd channel, as a guest of the “Jadi burek” program…
That’s a lot of meetings without even getting out the door, so to speak! And all of this is supposed to leave the reader with an impression that there is transparency in the public debate.
Information sources: As a source of proof for the transparency in the adoption of this Law, the author cites his own colleagues from MAN and does not even try to explain the bad reaction of most of their colleagues from the larger AJM and what is the reason for the need to conceal the draft-law and the attempt to stage an alleged public debate that would begin and end in a day.
Extensiveness: The article does not present a single argument on why MAN believes that the text of the law is good. The only remark that MAN presented to Minister Ivanovski (defining the term freedom of expression) was also left unexplained, and in the meantime the Minister is facing numerous and substantial remarks from other segments of the media spectrum.
There is also no trace of the fact that Ivanovski was specifically invited to go to Brussels to personally hear the criticism about the lack of transparency in the adoption of the Media Law, which according to the time of the conversation between MAN and Ivanovski was “a recent event.”
On the contrary, the text states the following:
MAN expresses its dissatisfaction with European institutions particularly because their complete communication is directed only towards AJM, and MAN believes that it is one of the most representative associations and informed that MAN will require communication with EU institutions, so that, as he said, that part of the communication would be directed to them.
The good side of this article is that it proves the assumption that MAN serves as support for the government in building its image of success, and not as a critically oriented corrector, as would be expected from an organization that is a mix between a journalist syndicate and an association.
Bias: The text has no link with other journalists, other public forms, particularly because the Association of Journalists held a meeting during the previous days on the occasion of the adoption of the Law. The expert’s reaction is also negative, as well as the reaction of experienced journalists, lawyers … This impression of “a series of public debates” which is offered to the news consumers is untrue and inaccurate.
The text does not suggest, let alone open the question about the boycott that exists among most of the journalists and the government regarding the Law, due to the request for determining responsibility for the incident with the journalists on December 24, 2012.
Commenting: The article uses direct forms of speech of the actors at that meeting in order to impose a certain view.
Plagiarism: “Kurir” does not indicate that the text is taken from somewhere else, so it can be treated as an original, although it has not been signed by the author.
Quality of the title: The title is “administrative” i.e. aims to highlight the professionalism in the minister’s agenda, instead of being creative.
Photograph: The Minister answers questions of media that are known to be pro-governmental and from that same point of view, the photo informs about Ivo Ivanovski’s media range when it comes to the public debate on the bill.
Conclusion: The article completely fits into the strategy of the government to prove two incorrect theses – that the public debate about this law exists, that there is a good frequency of events in this direction and that the text of a large and extensive law is immediately perceived by the journalists as excellent and applicable.
This text is part of the government pressure exerted on AJM, as well as on a number of journalist NGOs, before the actual dialogue of the government starts, if it starts. Namely, the government indicates that MAN is “its partner” suitable to act as the public and to provide an almost unconditional support for the Media Law.
Reviewer: Ljubomir Kostovski