The cooperation between the civil sector and the media is an exceptionally important factor when it comes to the influence on the good governance and on spurring the citizens to request accountability from the state institutions and to be more included in the creation of public policies. The attendees reached this conclusion at the round table discussion “Civil sector and media for good governance”, which was organized by the foundation for internet and society “Metamorphosis”. Also, this round table discussion marked the start of the four-year project ACTION SEE – Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in SEE which is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.
This event was opened by Irena Ivanova, program manager in the Delegation of the European Union to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Tamara Resavska, “Metamorphosis” representative.
Slagjana Taseva, the president of “Transparency International – Macedonia”, pointed out that the civil sector and the media are the factors that drive the society towards good governance.
“The good governance relates to the government, and that involves transparency, accountability and responsibility” Taseva said, and also added that the civil sector is rarely represented in the media and is misunderstood too.
“The civil sector points out to the conditions that are totally opposite from the good governance and hence, there is a strong campaign against it, i.e. that the civil sector is working against the interests of the country. But, we have to say things as they are, if we want to change the situation. The government does not respond to the messages from the non-governmental sector and proclaims it as an enemy at the same time” Taseva said.
Moreover, Olivera Vojnovska, an editor at “Thruthmeter” also attended this panel and delivered a speech about the way media report about the corruption and pointed out that media do not inform enough about corruption because the editing policy and the ownership structure are corrupted as well.
Elida Zilbeari, an editor in the Albanian website “Portalb” agrees with Olivera Vojnovska, and she said that the media in Macedonia are captured by the government and deal with closed institutions, especially when it comes to spending of citizens’ money.
“The quality of reporting is deteriorated and standards are disrespected. Part of the media neglect the public interest and they protect the centers of power. Albeit we live in a multiethnic society, the Albanian media lay their focus on areas which are under the jurisdiction of Albanian officials.” she added.
Besides Taseva, Vojnovska and Zilbeari, this discussion had two more participants: Aleksandar Kolekeski from the Macedonian Center for European Training and Elena Ravnjanski from “Reactor – Research in Action”. Aleksandar Kolekeski talked about the IPA 2 mechanism as a form of civil participation, whereas Elena Ravnjanski delivered a speech on the topic “Engaged citizenship for healthy democratic society”.
Due to these reasons, the project ACTION SEE – Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in SEE will be implemented in the next four years. The aim is to increase the inclusion of civil society and media organizations in decision making processes and the creation of public opinion and policies, as well as to raise the capacity of civil societies to address sensitive issues.
This project is implemented by the foundation “Metamorphosis”, as a coordinator, in partnership with Westminster Foundation for Democracy from Great Britain, CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability from Serbia, Citizens Association Why not? from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Center for Democratic Transition from Montenegro, Open Data Kosovo (ODK) from Kosovo, and Levizja Mjaft! from Albania.
The complete photo album from this event is available on Flickr.