Little progress in media freedom in Macedonia

Macedonia is ranked 109th in the latest Freedom of the Media report by Reporters Without Borders, going up two places as opposed to last year, when it ranked 111st. The report states: “The systematic attacks on the freedom of speech were a constant phenomenon during and VMRO-DPMNE and Nikola Gruevski’s term in office, which finally ended with the election of the new government in June 2017.”

– During his ten-year rule, Gruevski established a level of control over the media that could not be compared to any other Balkan country, and many opposition media had to quit, the report said. According to the Reporters without Borders report, the “Macedonian Radio Television” public network is still at the service of VMRO-DPMNE.

– The fall of Gruevski’s regime has led to a reduction in government control over the media, but it is still early to be sure to assess the government’s intention to create a permanent improvement of the situation. There are no significant changes in the economic situation of the journalists in Macedonia who are poorly paid, and have not security in their jobs – the report says.

The world’s freest media are in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, and media freedom is most vulnerable in Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. Of the countries in the region, the most free media in Slovenia is 32nd, Bosnia and Herzegovina is 62th, Croatia 68th, Greece 74th, Albania 75th, Serbia 76th, Kosovo 78th, Montenegro 103nd, and Bulgaria 111th place.