North Macedonia: Union secures Covid-19 aid package for media workers

A special aid package to protect journalists wages and support struggling media is to be introduced in North Macedonia thanks to the efforts of the union representing the country's media workers.

Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski. Credits: ROBERT ATANASOVSKI / AFP

The North Macedonian government accepted wideranging proposals put forward by the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) to help journalists and media cope with the harsh conditions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have congratulated their affiliate, the SSNM, in negotiating the plan.

Applicable to June, July and August, the plan will provide subsidies to all media employers who have not illegitimately fired employees during the crisis, including those who reduced employees’ salaries - under the condition that they repay the whole salary.

Media organizations, can also have part of their salary payments - the equivalent of the official minimum wage - subsidised by the state and receive financial support for broadcasting licenses and expenses – on the basis of demands from the SSNM and from the Macedonian Association of Journalists (AJM).

The SSNM said the main purpose of the package is to support media workers rather than employers.

Our demand for financial help for the employees in the media is based on the principle that only socially and economically secured employees in the media are able to professionally fulfil their duties – that is, to inform the public in a correct, unbiased and timely manner," declared the SSNM.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We welcome the North Macedonian government’s decision to support media workers – this means more than just material help, it is a sign of respect for the institution of journalism, as well as for the precariousness of our profession. The IFJ congratulates the SNMM for securing this key support for media workers. It is an example to be followed.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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