The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia is obligated to provide timely, exact and complete information for the citizens, at any time. This obligation is of utmost importance especially in times of state of emergency when we are tackling the epidemics and the threat it poses to the population’s health. In times of state of health emergency all public communication must be conducted following strict protocols in pursuance with the measures for protection of health and professional media standards. At the same time, the citizens require and the Government is obligated to introduce mechanisms that disable spreading of disinformation, fear and panic among the population.
In order to secure smooth communication between the Government, the media and the journalists, the Public Relations Sector within the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia has secured technical conditions for following, downloading and participation at the daily press-conferences using the following methods:
- Internet live video stream for every press-conference on the YouTube channel in both Macedonian and Albanian language, available for all citizens who have internet connection;
- Internet live video stream for every press-conference on the social network Facebook, available for all citizens who have internet connection;
- Possibility for all TV stations, radio stations and internet portals to download video contents that is broadcasted live;
- Possibility for all interested journalists, media and citizens to download publicly available press-releases, photographs and video materials from all press-conferences and public activities of the Government, available on www.vlada.mk
- Possibility for all journalists to ask questions using E-mail; most of the questions are answered live on the press-conferences and fewer are answered via E-mail;
- Possibility for online live video coverage during the press-conferences for all medias in the media registry in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The newest possibility for online live coverage (No. 6 in the list above) is available for all media that are registered in the existing registries of the institutions and media organizations i.e. AVMU, SEMM and ZNM. The latter are the singled institutions and media organizations that keep media registries in the country. This involves a total of 234 media out of the four available registries i.e. 72 radio stations, 48 TV stations, 13 newspapers and 101 online portals.
At the same time, the Government announces its press-conferences on daily base and enables posing questions with a direct invitation that is sent to about 700 media workers, members of various journalist associations in the country, including ZNM and MAN.
The Government is not performing selection nor it regulates or intervenes the media registries. The Government relies exclusively to the existing registries that were created by independent regulatory bodies and professional media organizations. Last year the Government welcome the self-regulation process in the area of online media and announced that it will comply with the registry of professional online media of SEMM and ZNM, as it complies with the registry from AVMU. In state of emergency when the citizens follow live news, the Government must secure the exact media that cover live during the press-conferences and there is no better way to follow criteria and standards other than taking into consideration the existing registries of professional media which are certainly not created by the Government.
Openness and transparency are number one priority for the Government. Therefore, the Government enables a great list of communication channels, with both journalists and media. No one is excluded; each journalist, civic journalist, blogger and citizen can ask a question. We invite all journalists and media to make use of the possibilities, to follow the press-conferences online and to ask their questions using the various communication channels.