Publication Date: December 2015
Research and Editorial Team: Petrit Saracini, Petrit Saracini, Filip Medarski, Lazar Sandev, Jane Stefanov, Slavco Milenkovski

This study systematizes the legal framework in the area of online-media and online-communication in Macedonia, to provide stakeholders with update information of the relevant legal provisions.

In the first part, the study provides an overview of the legal framework regulating the publication of contents on Internet and the rules for entities operating online. National laws and the international documents applicable in this field are both considered. By pointing out specific cases, the study looks at the judicial practice and the practice of other state bodies in relation to implementation of all these laws, including legal and administrative procedures. As the authors of the report note, there is a sufficient legal framework established for the internet communication in Macedonia, yet a serious lack of consistency in the application of the existing regulation, as well and widespread impunity seriously undermine guarantees for online media freedom. This especially applies for the implementation of the Criminal Code provisions on hate speech and the Law on defamation, Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, but also in the Labour Law and the Copyright Law. Significant improvements are desirable and possible in the implementation of the Law on Access to Public Information, in particular the implementation of the law by the holders of information, but also in the education of the media and the public about the methods and procedures how to reach the requested information.

The study gives account of the perceptions and experiences of the stakeholders concerned (owners, editors and journalists in online-media, professional associations and part of the Internet audience), obtained through qualitative semi-structured interviews and an online-survey

The study also documents part of the practice of self-regulation ethical bodies in cases where they processed cases related to the online media, but also other forms of self-regulation (through activities of existing civil society movements and organizations, informal groups, forums, social networks), as well good practices and standards which should be upheld by all media, regardless of the platform for transmission of information they use.

The Analysis is available in Macedonian, Albanian and English

The Macedonian Institute for Media (MIM) prepared this Analysis as part of the Project “Macedonia in the digital age – between the rights and responsibilities while communicating on Internet”, financed by the US Embassy in Skopje.

Tags: North Macedonia Digital rights Hate speech Defamation and Libel Access to information Impunity Copyright

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