COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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FYR of Macedonia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity

All media are privately owned, except for the Macedonian Radio and Television Company as a Public Broadcasting Service. The Macedonian Radio and Television Company broadcasts TV programmes in seven languages (Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Serb, Bosnian and Vlach) and radio programmes in nine languages (Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Serb, Bosnian, Vlach, Greek and Bulgarian). The share of domestic versus imported programmes in Macedonian Television is 70:30. However, for other broadcasting companies, the percentage is much, much higher for imported programmes (mostly films!).

Table 3:    Transmitted radio and TV programmes by Macedonian National Radio and Television, by language, in hours, 2013

Language

Hours

Radio

TV

Macedonian

20 208

8 509

11 699

Albanian

7 578

3 070

4 508

Turkish

1 749

1 025

724

Roma

181

90

91

Serbian

281

195

86

Vlach

169

90

79

Bosnian

175

90

85

Other

180

180

-

Source:    State Statistical Office, Culture and Public Informing, 2013.

The Public Broadcasting Service tax is 190 MKD (around 3.1 EUR). From 2011 the tax has been collected by the Public Revenue Office. The latest data shows that only 35% of the Public Broadcasting Service tax is collected. On the other hand, the government transfers 400 000 EUR each month to the Macedonian Radio and Television.

The latest 2013 research carried out by the Broadcasting Council showed that 62.7% of the population is not satisfied with the programmes offered by the national TV channels and 82.9% is not completely satisfied. Most of the remarks are on the quality of the educational, cultural, film and entertainment programmes. The research also showed that 50.8% of the population is not satisfied with the radio programmes, and 77% is not completely satisfied. 

Instead of the Media Law, that was expected by the end of 2012, the Minister of the Information Society and Administration proposed drafts of two laws: The Media Law and The Law for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, which became another point of confrontation between the government and the opposition and the major national journalists' association.

It was said that the purpose of the Law for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services is to ensure the development of audio and audiovisual media services and independent production, encouragement, promotion and protection of cultural identity, language and tradition of communities in the country, respect for cultural and religious differences, fostering a culture of public dialogue among citizens in order to strengthen mutual understanding and tolerance for the improvement of relations between different communities etc. According to this law, broadcasters are required to broadcast at least 30% of programmes originally created in Macedonia in the Macedonian language or languages of the minorities living in Macedonia as of 2014. By 2015, 30% of the obligation increases to 40%. The Public Broadcasting Service is obliged to broadcast daily at least 40% of programmes originally created in Macedonia in the Macedonian language or languages of the minorities living in the country. By 2016, 40% of the obligation increases to 50%.

The opposition declared both laws harmful for the society, for the media and freedom of expression, and that they share the same fears as OSCE for these laws.

By the adoption of the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, the Broadcasting Council was transformed into Agency for audio and audiovisual media services. Main bodies of the Agency are the Council and the Director of the Agency. The Council consists of seven members, who elect the President and Deputy President among the members. The members of the Council are appointed by the Parliament.

The Ministry of Culture has no responsibility over the media.

See also chapter 5.3.7.


Chapter published: 06-10-2015

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