The Media Development Center was formally registered on March 5th 2002 as a Skopje based non-governmental organization with focus on media legislation and policy and their implementation in the Republic of Macedonia.
The organization is primarily constituted of professionals and experts, both in the organization and as members of a wide pool of experts in variety of areas pertinent to the work of media, that is, in the fields of freedom of information, media and human rights, law, human rights, journalism, public administration, and new media. The main approach is production of legislation and policy documents and their promotion and implementation of normative acts through advocacy and lobbying.
There are three main/core issues that the organization addresses: broadcasting and digitalization legislation and policy; freedom of expression and information; and copyright issues.
For every one of these three issues, MDC has undertaken numerous activities and initiatives with visible and noticeable results. In the field of broadcasting and digitalization, up to now MDC has produced the current Macedonian Broadcasting Law, which was adopted in November 2005. MDC, in cooperation with the broadcast regulatory body, also developed the rules for presentation of the political parties in the election campaign in the Parliamentary Elections in 2002; Presidential Elections – 2004; Local Elections 2005; Parliamentary Elections 2006. MDC developed complementary Strategic Document of the National Strategy for Broadcasting Development and it was credited by the Broadcasting Council (BC) in the preamble of the Document. The Cooperation between MDC and BC regarding this process was based upon the Agreement for Cooperation signed by both institutions. Since its establishment in 2002, MDC has produced numerous policy briefs and documents on various issues pertinent to the functioning of Macedonian media sector and freedom of expression in the country, available on MDC website – www.mdc.org.mk.
Under the 2012-2015 Media Legal Reform and Responsible Media Project, funded by USAID, MDC has paid attention to the newly emerging online and new media in Macedonia, especially the issues of their sustainability and application of professional standards of journalism and media reporting. For that purpose, we organized a series of training workshops on various issues, with more than 100 participants from all the leading online media in the country. The project also included a segment dedicated to experimentation with new and alternative sources of revenue for online and new media, which involved 10 news websites.
Furthermore, MDC has an excellent expertise in court representation, especially for defending journalists and media in the court. Since March 2012, in cooperation with London-based organization Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI), MDC has provided free legal assistance, i.e. has defended or represented in court, over an extended period of time, more than 50 journalists involved as defendants in defamation action cases brought against them.
Since 2008, MDC is the local partner for the International Research and Exchange Bureau (IREX), a Washington, DC based organization, and collects the information and draft the Macedonian report for the annual Media Sustainability Index survey
MDC currently implements its activities with an institutional grant under the Civica Mobilitas Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
One of most important aspect of the MDC strategy is the aspect of inclusion. Almost all projects that were based on open and inclusive approach of the main actors, stakeholders and professional public, were successful. It was also one of the most important segments in the projects of advocacy, including those involving international organizations and institutions.