A public online debate was held today on the topic: “How well do the media meet the information needs of young people?”, which discussed the current state of the media and their commitment to creating programs and news for young people, as well as how much young people trust the media.
The opening speech was given by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom Rachel Galloway, who pointed out that we live in a time when we are constantly “bombarded” with news, articles, videos and photos that contain all kinds of information, which complicates the process of distinguishing what is true and important.
Rachel Galloway, Ambassador of the United Kingdom; photo: print screen
“Young people are just as vulnerable to disinformation as all other groups of citizens. Therefore, it is not surprising when we see that public opinion polls show that young people in Н. Macedonia do not trust the media. Young people as a group in this country are marginalized. But when I travel the country they are the most engaged on issues that are important in their communities. They raised their voices in the fight against climate change and environmental protection. You have to discuss why young people do not have professional news channels that present news that they will trust,” – Galloway pointed.
Aneta Andonova, the editor-in-chief of the first program service of the Macedonian Radio Television, spoke at the debate organized by the Metamorphosis Foundation. Andonova stressed that what is promoted on the television media affects the direct process of modeling the young person, who will later recognize the real criterion.
“Young people need something that will be fun, informative and educational, but also interactive that will allow young people to participate directly in the process. We are thinking of inserting new content such as gaming contests and quizzes in which young people would feel involved. Furthermore, debate shows for young people are planned. We already had a show called “My Story” which opened many questions about the problems that young people face. We also have an idea for an informative youth show with youth news where we would give the opportunity to them to prepare news and to find out what really interests them,” said the editor of MTV 1.
Bojan Šaševski, a journalist at Radio MOF, said that young people today have their own favorite people, whose works they want to follow, about which, unfortunately, the media do not provide enough information, so they rely on alternative media.
“Young people are looking for multimedia solutions like a short video or something on social media. Sometimes it is better for the traditional written form of news to be presented in different ways to be more interesting, more attractive and for young people to feel that they are contributing to it. Young people are also interested in different and less current content, perhaps competitions and calls that formal education does not offer.”
The representative of the youth civil organization – the National Youth Council, Darko Tošikj expressed the position about the media and their almost non-existent connection with the youth.
“We have too many media outlets that offer a lot of political content and tragic news and bad writing style. Here I allude to the fact that a negative practice of a generally accepted opinion has been created, which says that in order to work in media as a journalist, there is no need for special education. That is why we face cardinal mistakes on television and insufficient quality program without educational character. There is a lack of informative content that would be interesting for young people,” Tošikj said.
Representatives of the Meta News Agency and Portalb.mk, the editors Bojan Blaževski and Elida Zulbeari talked about the need for effort and commitment to creating news that will not be boring but will be “serious” and useful. Meta.mk and Portalb websites as well as their social network profiles publish weekly video news called “Shortcut”, which presents content dedicated to young talents, artists and project promotion, as well as news that is interesting for young people.
Today’s debate is part of the program planned to celebrate the Days of Media Literacy, in which the Metamorphosis Foundation also participated. At the same time, within the project “Credible news for qualified youth”, one event will be regularly organized every two months on various topics, announced the moderator of the event and the editor-in-chief of Meta.mk, Goran Rizaov.
The entire debate can be followed at the following link.