Top Tema - On Your Side Exemplifies Journey Toward Self-Reliance

United States Chargé d’Affaires Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm with the winners of the citizen journalism competition and "Top Tema na Vasha Strana" team
United States Chargé d’Affaires Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm with the winners of the citizen journalism competition and "Top Tema na Vasha Strana" team

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Skopje, Macedonia – Today, December 19, 2018, Telma TV and the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) celebrated the completion of USAID’s support for the Top Tema – On Your Side television show at Public Room. Telma TV and MCIC also announced the winners of the fourth and final round of the USAID-funded citizen journalism competition.

United States Chargé d’Affaires Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm and Editor-in-Chief of Telma TV Atanas Kirovski delivered opening remarks and handed out certificates of recognition to the ten winners of the citizen journalism competition.

Telma TV’s Top Tema is a profitable program in a highly-competitive media landscape in Macedonia, exemplifying the journey toward self-reliance in media. To maintain transparency in the Macedonian media environment, Telma TV will continue to promote research conducted by civil society organizations, present research findings to the public, and use the data for fact-based debates on the Top Tema television show.

In her remarks, Chargé d’Affaires Schweitzer-Bluhm reiterated the importance of professional and independent media in holding institutions and officials to account. She noted that “in the United States, we value the role media plays as a check and balance in investigating, reporting, and questioning matters of governance.  Indeed, a strong media is at the very heart of our democracy.” She added, “The U.S. Embassy is proud of our support for Top Tema’s debate program.”   

USAID supported Telma TV and MCIC for two years to introduce new debate formats including questions from citizens submitted through social media, live town halls from cities across the country, and the use of infographics to present complex issues researched by civil society organizations in an easy to understand format. Top Tema – On Your Side will continue to air on Telma TV. For more information about Top Tema, visit: https://telma.com.mk/kategorija/top-tema-na-vasha-strana/

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The American people, through USAID, have invested more than $640 million in Macedonia since 1993. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. For more information visit http://macedonia.usaid.gov and USAID’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia.

Last updated: June 20, 2019

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