English

The media create public opinion, but people do not trust them

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Iskra Koroveshovska is one of the most recognizable faces of Macedonian political journalism. She is currently part of Alfa TV, she has 14 years of experience, she worked at Sky Net and was a part of life magazine “Chumu”, then a part of news on A1, and later on daily newspaper “Dnevnik”.

Iskra, why did you choose journalism?

– I got into journalism quite unconsciously. Before I went to college, the last year of high school, I thought I made a decision to study English and Spanish. But only 3 days before enrollment, things took a different course. In fact, my father is “guilty”. He started talking how he recognized journalistic talent in me, so the process went very fast, and there I was – standing in front of the State Law Faculty – Department of Journalism. I managed to pass the entrance exams, and started my new phase in life: learning and building a journalist in me.

How is it to be a journalist in Macedonia?

– Challenging, difficult. Macedonia is a country that somehow swims through the transition process since its independence in 1991. It’s a small, beautiful piece of land which doesn’t manage to mature to the degree of a “nice life”. Perhaps because we are simply in the Balkans, but above all because of our politicians and statesmen. It seems that they did not show political will for a true leadership in creating mature and economically stable state. All this is reflected in journalism and maintains like that. Nevertheless, the fact is fact it is a challenge to create a public opinion in favor of the state and its citizens.

What is the situation with media in Macedonia?

– Media pluralism exists – which is an element of every modern state. The financial problems that Macedonian society faces, especially the last few years of a political crisis, got reflection in the media. The survival of the media is not guaranteed. One of the most watched TVs- A1; a media company owner of three daily newspapers and and internet site died out shortly. It’s not a good picture. At the same time a state without media, without professional media is like a state without identity. We don’t miss professional journalists, but they need to be recognized and appreciated.

Please share with us the most important or interesting story that you have worked on?

– They are numerous. For 14 years I have full story-album I always remember with pleasure. But two special ones are forever built in my mind and heart (both from “Dnevnik” period). The first is the discovery of the tomb of Macedonian most significant historical figures – Goce Delchev, in the village of Banica, Greece. According to my information, I am the second journalist who, after many decades, managed to locate the tomb, in the village literally deleted of the geographical map of Greece. The second story is much more adrenalin research. I dressed as a beggar, and spent almost all day on Skopje’s streets trying to convey the true struggle of poverty and begging. This is a special journalistic genre, when the journalist puts himself in the skin of a person –trying to capture a realistic image. There are many other experiences, not so positive, but than you get conscious of your professionalism and how much you love this work. It was about a research of one murder, directly located a dead girl at the scene of the crime – a picture that I will never forget. For the past few years, I’ve been working on political notices and analysis. Still the challenge is on `cause when you uncover unclean or crooked political games and serve them to the public – the feeling is just precious – you serve to the citizens and give them the truth.

What are the differences between tv and newspaper?

– Style, dynamics, thinking. In the  newspaper the pace is simply not as tense as in TV, you are not constantly in a hurry and travel to get the information – it can be easily completed by dialing 1 or 2 telephone numbers. Newspapers are analytical, tv must “run” couple of steps in front of television, because it is impossible to race with a real image and voice. But television is a special magic – this is not a cliche, it’s a real description. Journalists who have started on TV, hardly accept media transfers.

Would you choose journalism again if you were still in high school?

– Yes, without hesitation. I would have gone through the same disruptions, I would work as a beginner without a salary, I would study again from the zero point. If it’s a mistake, I would repeat it without hesitation.

What do you think about sentence: journalism is the best profession in the world if you leave in the right time?

– Absolutely true. Why? Because journalism – more than the majority of other professions -paralyzes your private life, there are no boundaries of work commitments or an end to your work commitments in the day. From a mother’s point of view, I think that at one moment, mothers-journalists are able to threw away everything and dedicate themselves to the child. That is how I define the phrase now. Maybe motherhood will not “win”, but when I feel that the audience or me, is overwhelming – I don`t want to become unbearable. I will retire in time. But I haven`t reached that point. Not yet.

How does the working day look in journalism profession?

– Never the same, never boring and monotonous. It starts with reading and watching news on the Internet in parallel with waking and drinking the first coffee. Sometimes on the headphones while I’m stealing time for exercise or jogging. Then starts the period of covering events or filming own researching analysis. The second part of the working day is in the office. Writing, “packaging” of the information are accompanied by countless interesting situations, tensions, technical problems, nervous editors, humor and tachycardia. Finalizes with the preparation of the next day. I’m a journalist all day long.

How do you recognize real or fake news?

– Experience teaches you how to filter what is false and what is real. The experience content is “packed” with people-sources of information in which I believe. The credibility of the media that publishes the news is a guarantee of the truth. I do read and follow different profiles of Macedonian and world media, their placement, editorial policies, etc. In the actual news the source is stated, and there are not many question marks, nor improvisations.

Does the media affect public opinion? And do people trust them?

– Oh yes. Especially TV. It is still the most powerful medium, especially in Macedonia. The impact is huge, but not trust-worthy. Sounds contradictory: on one hand, strong influence, but on the other – great distrust. Pluralism in the media provides a view from a different side, it confuses people, but the future will show who predicted correctly and informed professionally. Media are not always guilty, because sometimes they are simply unable to get information. Why? Because those who give info, manifest lack of respect and culture of behavior towards media. That`s why, media are often forced to speculate which damages their images among public. Sometimes it’s easier to get interview from a foreigner (politician or whoever) than a local politician. This explains a lot. You do agree, don`t you?

Christopher Maiken

Categories: English, Interview

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