Europe - Central Asia
North Macedonia
Index 2024
36/ 180
Score : 73.78
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
38/ 180
Score : 74.35
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Although journalists do not work in a hostile environment, widespread disinformation and a lack of professionalism contribute to the decline of society's trust in the media, which exposes independent outlets to threats and attacks. Furthermore, government officials tend to have poor and demeaning attitudes towards journalists.

Media landscape

Although television is the dominant source of information, online media play an important role. Yet, a distinction must be made between professional online newsrooms that employ journalists and publish original content, and individual portals that plagiarise and copy and paste content. There is also a big gap between usage and trust: the most watched TV stations have a low reliability index.

Political context

The overall environment remains favourable to press freedom but government agencies are not very transparent and critical journalism is increasingly subject to attack. Due to strong political polarisation, the media can come under pressure from the authorities, politicians and businessmen at both the national and local level. The two largest parties (in power and in opposition) have created parallel media systems over which they exert their political and economic influence.  The public broadcaster lacks editorial and financial independence. 

Legal framework

While the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and prohibits censorship, the country has been slow to harmonise media legislation with the standards of the European Union, which it intends to join. SLAPP procedures serve as instruments of intimidation and pressure on independent media. The defamation conviction, in 2023, of the IRL media outlet for its general interest investigation set a dangerous precedent. A new law re-authorising national and local authorities to advertise in privately owned media has raised concerns about possible associated influence peddling. 

Economic context

Although certain types of media concentration are prohibited by law, the editorial staff of some of the major TV channels are exposed to economic pressures from their owners. State funding is limited and non-transparent, and independent media rely heavily on donors. Project-based foreign grants contribute to mere survival, but not to further development. Journalism is a very precarious profession. Some media outlets are subjected to influence peddling by marketing agencies. 

Sociocultural context

Although there are no clear constraints in the social and cultural environment that affect free journalism, social media and the digital sphere generally favour the spread of disinformation and cyberthreats. Combined with low professional standards, they contribute to the decline of public trust in the media and pave the way for attacks on journalists based on gender, ethnicity or religion.


Journalists are often targets of verbal attacks. Under the pretext of protecting state secrets and personal data, they may be exposed to judicial pressure and arbitrary legal proceedings. Nevertheless, the courts tend to uphold freedom of the press and protect journalists. In the capital, a special prosecutor was appointed to handle cases of attacks against journalists, and the opening of similar offices across the country is under consideration.