State of media freedoms in the Western Balkans discussed in Ohrid

The third RAD seminar for 2015 was launched on Thursday, 2 July in Ohrid, Macedonia. The entire 3-day conference was dedicated to the topic of the media and it’s freedom as one of the most important foundation pillars of democracy.

Sonja Licht, the Director of Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence opened the seminar with introductory words. She pointed out the importance of the media institutions in political, cultural and social life of every citizen. The key problem, which can arise between the representatives of legislative and executive on one hand, and the members of media on the other, is lack of understanding and responsibility towards media and its freedoms, mentioned Licht.

Seminar participants had the chance to introduce themselves to different aspects of communication and media in the contemporary society. Tome Sekerdziev, National Rule of Law Officer in OSCE Mission to Skopje elaborated on the subject of new forms of hate speech and its ambivalence in regard to the freedom of expression as basic human right. The perspective of journalists themselves was introduced by Branko Čečen, Director of Centre for Investigative Journalism, while Andrej Petrovski from Share Foundation organized a workshop, which aimed at demonstrating the role of new media in political life and modern political and electoral campaigns.

Discussion regarding the state of media freedoms and media pluralism in the Western Balkans was facilitated by and followed the lecture of Alina Dobreva from European Parliament Think Tank. 

The RAD Dean for 2015, Mr. Pierre Mirel led the simulation of European Commission session – hypothetical Commission visit to a country regarding its state of media freedoms, which mobilized and included all the participants of the third RAD 2015 seminar.

Participants also had the chance to introduce themselves to the work of the media in the field via visit to TVM television headquarters in Ohrid. 

Next RAD 2015 seminar is scheduled for 27 – 30 November and will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, as well as the RAD alumni conference, which will take place on 1 December.