Although the press and the media all officially have the freedom of the press and of expression, it’s more of just a saying in this country as practically it’s mostly biased towards serving the ruling governments interest to the public. The most used medium for information and entertainment is the television. The media outlets and services are divided between all the political parties and there are the pro-government ones and the pro-opposition ones.
There is 4 daily newspapers, 5 television channels, 4 radio stations, and 2 other news agencies. A huge amount of the population is also connected to social media. The Freedom House also labels it as a “partly free”, regarding its media landscape. Although officially it appears to be quite a well running sector, behind the scenes corruptions and illegal activities regarding the media is quite evident. Putting pressure on journalists, editors, and the media owners are always happening to further the government’s or opposition’s interest.
Coercion, threats, attacks, these are all ever-present danger in this sector for Macedonia. Even recently as of 2015, an opposition’s accusation of the Prime Minister illegal activities regarding spying on journalists turned out to be true under the investigation of a European-Commission. Journalists also received threats and have been injured under assault following that incident.
It’s no surprise that although the country has a massive number of media services, outlets, still the government-backed ones hold a dominant position in the landscape and reap more profits and such. Although as of 2015 around just 70 per cent of the population had access to internet services, the number of the public is increasing steadily and their participation in matters in social media too.
One obvious problem is already present, the plight of the journalist and people working in the media industry being underpaid and without much security either. The public also gets engaged in blogging to spread news and information. Recently there have been movements and talks about journalists and media people trying to take a stand against their mistreatment and their harassment by several organizations.
European organizations like ECPMF and EFJ also express their solidarity to establish security for the media people. Almost everyone agrees that the media of this country are influenced and dependent on political parties. This problem cannot be obliterated at once, but slowly, the public are getting more conscious about the situation, and in the future, Macedonia can live up to the constitution of freedom of the press and of expression.