UNESCO together with its the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) organized a competition among FYROM journalists aimed to support professionalism and reward the best journalistic stories promoting human rights, in particular the rights of socially vulnerable and marginalised people.
“We are aware that newsrooms in the country often face a lack of staff and resources for continuous and consistent investigative work. Our role as a self-regulatory body mainly focuses on handling complaints about a potential breach of journalistic ethics in the country. Yet, thanks to this UNESCO project, we have been able to send a positive message and shine a light on good journalistic work in the country. This award ceremony helps recognize media professionals who play an important role in advancing journalist work and improving access to vital social information in the region,” said Marina Tuneva from CMEM.
In total, six talented journalists received an award from CMEM at a press conference organized in Skopje on 29 September 2017. Irena Mulacka received an award for the excellence of her journalistic work published in the weekly newspaper Focus. “The stories of Irena Mulacka has received high public interest and sparked serious debate both among citizens and the medical community of the country. The quality of her research and publication is a great example of quality investigative journalism,” said the members of the jury. Other laureates were Nikola Zdravkovic who received the second price for a story broadcasted within the 360-degree show of Alsat-M Television, Mirjana Mircevska-Jovanovic for a documentary broadcasted on Kanal 5 television, Marjan Nikolovski for a story broadcasted on Sitel TV, Maja Ravanska for an article published in the newspaper "Face to Face" and Zoran Jovanoski for a broadcasted on Alsat-M television.
"Today's awards are an acknowledgment for the authors' professionalism. We have repeatedly emphasized the importance of professionalism, the role of the media in publishing fair information, the need to improve the working conditions of journalists and self-regulation in overcoming ethical challenges. All these issues are still current today," said Ambassador Samuel Zbogar, Head of the EU Delegation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during his address at the event.
The UNESCO Project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey” started in 2016 and aims at improving media good governance and respect for media professional standards. Within this framework, UNESCO is supporting press councils in the region through direct funding and through the implementation of activities with aims at improving both their functioning and visibility. This project is funded by the European Union.