Covid-19 crisis: AAAVMS (MK) grants financial aid to broadcasters to cope

posted on 08 April, 2020   (public)

Financial help from the regulator to ensure the primary role and obligations of broadcasters towards the public in times of crisis

Bearing in mind the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on all areas, here also including the audiovisual industry, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services granted financial aid to the television and radio stations, i.e. a donation to help cope with the consequences of this new reality, in the amount of nearly EUR 1,675,000.00.

  • Of these funds, around EUR 1,187,000.00 have been granted to the commercial and non-profit broadcasters holding television or radio broadcasting licenses, while about EUR 487,800.00 have been allocated to the Public Broadcasting Service, i.e. the Macedonian Radio and Television. These funds have been granted for the purpose of providing protection for the media workers through purchase of protection equipment; for expenditures related to the production, procurement and broadcasting of programme; to help alleviate the adverse effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on the broadcasters’ economic performance; to support freedom of expression and information, and to enable their smooth functioning.
  • The Agency also donated additional EUR 48,000.00 to the regional television station of Kanal VIS TV Strumica, the premises of which had caught fire on 25 March this year, in order to help this media outlet in repairing the damages caused by the fire, so that the latter may continue to be part of media pluralism in the region which covers a number of populated areas.

All these measures are aimed at ensuring broadcasters’ smooth functioning and carrying out of their primary role and obligations towards the public: providing timely, objective and comprehensive information about the current situation, the prevention of the Coronavirus spread and the measures taken up by the competent institutions.   

As regards the professional and safe performance of tasks in conditions of a pandemic, the Agency has recommended to the media outlets to abide by the Guidelines for Safe and Professional Reporting on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) issued by the Association of Journalists (ZNM) and the Council on Media Ethics of Macedonia (SEMM), which contain some practical instructions on both how to perform their job tasks professionally and on how to ensure the protection and safety of the media workers.

At the same time, the Agency has appealed to the media on several occasions to keep their professionalism and be very cautious when presenting information related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Source: the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (MK)