The findings of the RESIS’ Study “Pluralism of media ownership in the new media environment” were presented at an online workshop with representatives of the regulatory body, broadcasters, operators of public communication networks and NGOs in the media field.
The regulation of media ownership in the legal framework is of key importance for achieving actual pluralism and diversity in the media sector. The Macedonian regulatory framework is one of the most restrictive in the region, but also in Europe. The provisions of the existing Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services are very restrictive and no longer strike a balance between the need to safeguard pluralism and to secure viability and sustainability of the audiovisual sector, especially in the digital environment. The Macedonian audiovisual market is small, fragmented, with limited advertising revenues, so the audiovisual media providers need to engage in economies of scale in order to be sustainable.
Therefore, the participants in the workshop have agreed upon the need to revise the existing legal framework and to remove most of the existing restrictions related to media ownership. The conclusion was that the Study and the findings of the workshop have to be submitted to the competent ministry with a request to open a broad, transparent and inclusive discussion about the amendments of the Law on media and Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, with a main purpose to encourage the growth of the audiovisual media sector, but also to align the media legislation with the latest changes in the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
The Study was conducted by Snezhana Trpevska from the RESIS Institute and Jean-François Furnémont from “Wagner-Hatfield”, and commissioned by the Council of Europe for the needs of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, as a part of the action “Freedom of expression and freedom of the media in North Macedonia” (JUFREX 2).