1st February 2017
By Tom Law

“Media as watchdogs of public interest”

Journalists and editors from 8 media outlets in Macedonia participated in a workshop conducted by the Ethical Journalism Network from 30-31 March 2017 in Skopje as a part of a media literacy programme run by the School of Journalism and Public Relations and the Media Diversity Institute.

The workshop “Media as Watchdogs of Public Interest” was led by the EJN’s Director of Campaigns and Communications Tom Law.

The Guardian’s former readers’ editor Chris Elliot talked to the participants at the workshop in Skopje via Skype explaining the importance of internal governance and accountable journalism.

The discussion centred around what action ethical journalists toward independent, impartial public interest journalism in the midst of self-censorship and highly politicised media environments.

Background on the project from the Media Diversity Institute:

The workshop in Skopje was held as part of the three years programme Media Literacy in the Age of News Overabundance: Macedonian Coalition of Media and Information Literacy (MAMIL), covered the basics of media ethics and accountability but also some current issues such is the role of media in fostering media literacy, raising awareness of fake news and fact checking.

MDI has partnered the School of Journalism and Public Relations (SJPR) in their efforts to establish a coalition of media and civil society organisations aiming to promote media and information literacy in Macedonia in order to empower citizens to become active participants in the public sphere and a policy-making process, and reinforce the watchdog role of the media in Macedonia.

One of the objectives of the MAMIL project is to create a coalition of media, CSOs, and citizens for promoting MIL, empower citizens and civil society with MIL skills and knowledge as a precondition for active citizenry and introduce public journalism by creating meaningful and diverse news content as imperative for achieving media pluralism, diversification of sources and human-oriented stories. Before implementing their own MIL initiatives CSO and media representatives are going through the series of training to improve their own knowledge about the subject.