The ad hoc body for control of the media will be one more reason for political quarrels. And it will be so because in our country, simply, the journalistic criteria, the ones that are simple, healthy, well-known in the democracy world, are totally messed up
Author: Aleksandar SHOLJAKOVSKI
Rearrangement is coming, pretty much a transformation of the media sphere! At least, after countless attempts, this is what the Przhino leaders have agreed. Mainly with will and intention to do nothing. The body that is supposed to control the media will be blocked again by the inability to reach some kind of a consistent position. (According to the announced lineup of this ad hoc body, that’s how it will be). It is made like that – always to be either draw, or with re-voting or blocking of the work! And that body is supposed to be fining, yeah right! Plus, the fact that the overly wealthy party in power can pay every fine via the media under its control and can defy every prohibition, is neglected.
And it will be so because in our country, simply, the journalistic criteria, the ones that are simple, healthy, well-known in the democracy world, are totally messed up on several basis.
The systematic eradication of journalism by all previous governments starting from the ’90s until nowadays, especially in the last ten years, led to totally faulty selection of personnel, above all. An entire layer of illegible, uneducated, noncreative, gullible and corrupted journalists entered journalism. And now they are shaking the media.
On the other hand, the media owners are people that cannot brag with some virtues. Neither professional, nor ethical. Because for them the media are hostages, guarantors of their businesses. Through them, they secure intangibility for their vague and lucrative deals. Through the media they practically corrupt the government and vice versa.
The journalists lack ideas. Not to mention ideology. They do not advocate any democratic view. They listen to the voice of their master as if they are little doggies. There is no ideology of principles, inclination for truth, promptness, objective evaluation and assessment. Just like the lack of ideology in the political parties, whereas the division of left-wing and right-wing political parties is completely distorted.
AD HOC BODY FOR AD HOC JOURNALISM
And now, that body composed of party journalists and one member said to be independent, has to assess the objectivity of media. Everything will come down to measuring the minutes without taking into account the essence, truthfulness and the message of the information. Plus, who will be the hero to measure those vicious set ups, tricks (as if journalistic), taking pictures with the aim to show the opponent in bad light, moving of information in periods when people watch and do not watch TV, and dozens of others dirty stunts, which simply have reached perfection in our media?
The newer history of Macedonian journalism is a sad story about the degradation of consciousness and the virtue of the so called public reporting, which actually isn’t such. Whether from laziness or because of the nonexistence of idea about what this society needs, poor and stupid laws have been passed, subjected to various interpretations, although the basics of the setting up of the media framework in the beginning of the ’90s were pretty good and the relative freedom in reporting was more or less respected. But, soon after the new authorities were enthroned, when the power of media was comprehended, everyone wanted to influence them.
None of the governments cared to build a strategy for the position and promotion of media. Up until Gruevski, who has been building reverse strategy in order to occupy and to totally control them. SDSM, which had media advantage at the beginning, was satisfied enough by imposing that advantage, but in the absence of more sound solutions, their advantage melted down and left room for the media manipulators.
Ljubcho Georgievski either wasn’t able to understand or didn’t care, he did not build any relation with the media, because he believed that they cannot be his partner or they cannot put his position at risk.
UNDEFINED, FOGGY ROLE
Only Gruevski had a plan in the past few years and he realized it. He bought the existing media with, in our case high-figured prices, he bribed and blackmailed the owners with more significant benefits for free functioning of their main businesses. Those who did not agree – were shut down. The plan, the concept have been working perfectly so far.
And now, some kind of body that has highly undefined, foggy role, is supposed to determine, on very short notices, which TV station is objective and which is not! And that body is composed of journalists or media experts delegated by certain political parties!
And that is supposed to be happening in an environment where the virtues of public reporting are long gone. Not to mention the truth, honor, dignity. The owners also finished their jobs for their superintendents, (the politicians) and calmly ride their horses while tightly holding the reins. Their trumps are strong – they are holding the money bag. Plus, I do not intend to judge the journalists who have come to terms with the situation in order to survive. However, this does not go for those, name them journalists, who have tried to secure something more for themselves besides that media pie and who have become “ideologists” of this deformed government whose ideology and aspiration are consisted of two words – personal enrichment!
Nevertheless, the story about the Macedonian media situation will be a sad story for quite a long time. Normally, because it is poorly planted and it grows that way.
Oh, and the ad hoc body will be one more reason for political tensions and quarrels.
This column was created within the framework of the USAID Media Strengthening in Macedonia Project - Media Fact-Checking Service Component,, mplemented by Metamorphosis. The column is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, USAID or the United States Government. For more information on the work of USAID in Macedonia please visit its website (http://macedonia.usaid.gov) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia).