Monitoring of the media shows low professional standards as well as political, economic and legal pressure on the media.
5.3.7 Mass media
According to the latest statistical data (2011), there are 66 TV broadcasting companies (54 in 2008) and 69 radio companies (62 in 2008). The total transmission of TV programmes was 484 041 hours and for radio programmes, 499 099 hours. The Macedonian Radio and Television as a Public Broadcasting Service broadcasted 21 010 hours of TV programmes (16.8% informative programmes) and 37 430 hours of radio programmes (61.3% music programmes).
According to the latest data of the State Statistical Office (2009), there are 14 newspapers (with a yearly circulation of 7 131 000) and 110 magazines (with a yearly circulation of 9 176 000).
The following quotas are listed in the 1997 Law on Broadcasting:
There are no additional laws or regulations which encourage the production of indigenous programmes with cultural or artistic relevance.
The media situation was monitored by the Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI). SEEMO found that the media environment was partially free. All media professionals interviewed by the SEEMO delegation spoke of political, economic and legal pressure on the media that induced self-censorship. Nobody denied that some journalists were involved in illegal practices, like blackmailing businessmen or striking lucrative deals. Everyone pointed to low professional standards, and many underlined a lack of ethics. Most agreed on the prevalence of extortive practices and blackmailing on all sides. Everyone agreed that society was divided. While the pro-government supporters argued that laws were finally being enforced, critics perceived the very same legal actions as selective, politically motivated, and designed to stifle media freedom.
See also chapter 4.2.6.