Media Portrayal of Constitutional Changes in North Macedonia: A Focused Study

Volume 3 | No 1 | June 2024
Edlira Palloshi Disha
Max van der Stoel Institue, South East European University, Tetovo
UDC: 316.774:32.019.5]:342.4(497.7)


North Macedonia's journey toward democratization and EU accession has faced significant political challenges, including constitutional changes. This study explores the media's role in shaping public discourse by examining the media framing of constitutional changes in North Macedonia The analysis focuses on a brief period of ongoing debates, utilizing mixed methods of content analysis. The study focused on the coverage of North Macedonia’s online media outlets from four major TV stations, analyzing a sample of 54 news pieces over 17 days.  By categorizing the news pieces into neutral, negative, and positive contexts, this article aims to illustrate how these media outlets informed the public about constitutional changes on a significant political momentum that could define North Macedonia's EU path.

The findings showed that the media's focus on the Macedonian opposition's rhetoric overshadowed other viewpoints, making them seem less important. This influenced the debate around constitutional changes and shaped how people thought about the issue. Moreover, the study finds that the public discourse was highly polarized and divided into pro and con constitutional changes incited by politics and media. The study highlights the importance of promoting constructive discussion and encouraging diverse viewpoints, ensuring all opinions receive equal media coverage as a paradigm of a healthy society that advocates for democratic values.

Keywords: North Macedonia, Constitutional Changes, EU Accession, Media frame, Democracy.