An interview with Dragan Antonovski, Director General of the Macedonian Information Agency /MIA/

JT 11:53:01 09-11-2018
D. Antonovski - "Journalism today and tomorrow"

An interview with Dragan Antonovski, Director General of the Macedonian Information Agency /MIA/

- Raina Asenova, Q: Mr. Antonovski, I would like to ask you about the work of MIA - with whom we collaborate very well - and about the cooperation within the framework of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies /ABNA/.

- Dragan Antonovski, A: I was very recently appointed Director General, and I'm still going through stages of familiarization with the work of the Association. I think that currently news agencies, and especially ABNA, play a vital role in the fight against fake news. They act as a pillar of professional journalism, and are able to face the challenges of modern time: fake news, propaganda and disinformation.

- Q: Indeed, it is the agency's job to release the news as it is, and every newspaper will then comment on it. How can other media be influenced so as to maintain the purity of their journalism, or is this impossible?

- A: With all the modern instruments available, such as social networks, Facebook and Twitter, there is plenty of room for unprofessionalism. Still, I think this is a very serious process that agencies and professionals together can influence on, so that it is clear what information is real, accurate and fact-based, and what is propaganda in disguise: this will be a difficult battle and a great challenge, as the Internet is currently open to everyone. There are many regions where copyright is not observed, and news agencies and media cannot live off selling information, which only adds to the problem, but I think that if we work together on this whole bundle of challenges, if we manage to discard those who intervene with our profession, those who tarnish its name, if we manage to sift out the authentic information, if we manage to identify falsity, we would achieve something I like to call "media literacy". First and foremost, we need media literacy among media professionals, and then - among our reading public. It needs to be able to tell who is trustworthy from who isn't, who informs and who distorts. So, our main ambition for the future is to cultivate media literacy among our public, and make sure we maintain our high professional standards.

- Q: You guessed my next question: I wanted to ask you how we should cope with fake news nowadays, when everything is so intertwined, and what we can do to further strengthen the relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia?

- A: It is the information agencies that can contribute greatly to this end, as they are the news source for all the other media. Agencies can be a powerful influence if other media that aim to be professional accept the agencies' role. So, we should join efforts to propagate media literacy and maintain the collaboration between agencies through the exchange of professional and accurate information to be delivered to the public.
/Interview - Raina Assenova/ 25.10.2018