Journalists from several national media in the country were part of the study visit to Vienna, organised by the Delegation of the EU and the Macedonian Institute for Media (MIM) in the period 21-23 November. The visit was organised in the context of the Macedonian Chairpersonship of the OSCE in order to better familiarise the journalists with aspects of the co-operation between the EU and the OSCE, including topics related to the activities of the OSCE on media freedom, the spread of disinformation as a security threat, manipulation of information, elements of external influences in the region and hybrid threats. They also discussed the expectations from the upcoming 30th Ministerial Council of the OSCE in Skopje and the effects of the decisions that should be made, as well as a series of current issues related to the European integration process of our country.
Journalists had the opportunity to meet and talk with relevant representatives of several governmental, intergovernmental and international media organisations based in Vienna. Extremely useful and productive discussions were held at the meetings with the ambassador at the Permanent Representation of the EU to the OSCE, Rasa Ostrauskaite, and the Head of Mission at the Permanent Mission of North Macedonia to the OSCE Igor Djundev and his team. In a conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg and other senior representatives of the ministry, the importance of fulfilling the agreed obligations of the country in order to successfully continue the European integration process was emphasised, and other current issues in the domain of the regional and international politics were also discussed.
The team of journalists from North Macedonia also had a meeting with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, who was informed about the current developments that infringe the principles of media freedom in the country, as well as about the challenges the sector is facing.
At the meeting with the International Press Institute (IPI), director Frane Maroevic and his team informed the journalists about their activities in the region and beyond, as well as the assistance they provide to journalists facing threats and pressures.
The visit to the Austrian Public Broadcaster - ORF was an excellent opportunity for journalists to familiarise themselves with the standards and working conditions in this organisation, which is a leading media and a highly relevant source of information for Austrian citizens.