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Medienhilfe Ex-Jugoslawien

Professionelle Solidarität gegen Nationalismus und Chauvinismus
Professional solidarity against nationalism and chauvinism


Member of the TV Network

Name of company: PTUP “AR-KOM” – Tetovo
Name of owner: Artan Skenderi
Established: 1991
Address: Ohridska 18, Tetovo
Telephone number: 094/33-15-85
Fax number:    094/33-15-85

Television details:
Name:  TV art
Editor in chief:  Artan Skenderi 
Editors, correspondents: local TV stations in the Republic of Macedonia
Total staff: 19, among which many are employed part-time or even voluntary.

Editorial policy: Independent

Special programs/ current affairs programs: news, talk shows, political programs, documentaries, women’s and children’s programRange/geographical area covered: Tetovo, Gostivar/Polog region

Number of potential viewers within range: approximately 320,000

Actual number of viewers reached: 280,000–300 000 (Polog)

Special programs, documentaries, etc. 1,200,000 viewers (for exchanged program)

Satellite broadcasting (special programs)  TVSH,  RTK- 10–12 million viewers.

Current immediate problems: TV ART is one of the several broadcasting stations in the Tetovo region that had been physically struck by the armed struggle in the area, as its transmitters had been destroyed on Friday, 16 March 2001. The IMF, by the lead of the Opens Society Institute made the delivery of new material its highest priority so as to enable TV Art, together with other stations hit by a similar fate, to be able to broadcast again as soon as possible. This was particularly urgent, as the region of Tetovo and Gostivar had been faced by a total news blackout for days, resulting in the accelerated spreading of rumors and unfounded accusations, and therefore substantially contributing to further splits between the ethnic communities and the imminent danger of new armed clashes. Whereas the technical side of the problem seems to have been fixed, the financial problem of the emergency relief is still not solved. As TV ART is situated at the heart of the turmoil, it has also been hit the strongest in economical terms. The advertising market has come to a complete standstill. In addition, the local stations are being exploited by many international media representatives who are dependent on facilities, news and pictures from the locals, but who refuse to pay for them. On the other hand, the local media are at least partly to blame as they are being too forthcoming in their cooperation with international media representatives. Various members of the IMF during a meeting on 26 March issued a strong appeal to the local media to lay traditional hospitality aside in this regard and to behave professionally. Cooperation among the local media is imperative in order not to be exploited. Otherwise the IMF will not agree to support the stations. ART’s general manager, Artan Skenderi, estimates that his station will be able to survive another month (to late April 2001) without being able to pay its various debts. At the moment (late March) ART is living on as little as approximately 10,000 DM per month to pay all the salaries, concession fees, facilities, etc.

General assessment: TV ART is among those private stations that cannot get access to the official news conferences by the government or parliament. This is another reason why TV ART needs to cooperate with other multi-ethnic and multi-lingual stations, possibly by forming a city desk, that will have more leverage in receiving more forthcoming treatment by the officials. The degree of cooperation and organization is up to the stations themselves. However, international support will only come forward as a result of evidence in cooperative self-help, TV ART has been told by the IMF.

Another problem seems to be a lack of professionalism. General Manager Artan Skenderi admits that he has little knowledge of accounting and is hardly informed about the financial situation of his station. It is not clear whether the employed accountant can be fully trusted. For this reason, Skenderi is being encouraged to seek help for training from the Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF). Skenderi further agrees that he may need more professional journalists. However, he insists that it is imperative to overcome the current political crisis with all its consequences prior to any further planning in professionalizing the staff. Press Now discovered a lack of professionalism, when a report from TV ART was translated into Dutch, revealing severe shortcomings in the style of the Albanian language in the article. Though the general manager is very protective towards his crew, he agrees to start thinking about a general professionalization of his staff, maybe including a change of persons in key positions.  



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