According to data from the state media regulator, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AVMU) from September 2023, in the country with a little over 1.8 million residents, there are 43 television stations, 76 radio stations and 23 print media.
The number of news sites cannot be precisely determined because they are neither legally regulated, nor are kept in a separate register. Some estimates can be obtained by number of the sites that register with the State Election Commission before each election so that they can publish advertisements from political parties. For the local elections in 2021, 191 online media registered for elections advertising. For those elections the state paid 5,1 million euros for broadcasting party advertisements to all of the media.
More than a dozen television stations can be watched throughout the country’s territory. They are the national service MRT and the five largest private television stations, which air nationally through a digital terrestrial multiplex operator, as well as the four smaller private television stations that broadcast nationally via cable and two that broadcast via satellite.
The public service has five television program services, two satellite program services and a Parliamentary channel, which broadcasts live parliamentary sessions. One of the program services is in the Albanian language, while another service broadcasts content in the languages of smaller ethnic communities such as Turkish, Serbian, Vlach, Bosnian and Roma. The parliamentary channel is dual and can be watched simultaneously in Macedonian and Albanian. Within the framework of the public service, there are also three radio services, two that do broadcasts in Macedonian and one that broadcasts programs in the languages of the other ethnic communities in the country.
According to the latest AVMU data from 2023, 86 per cent of viewers watch television through subscription to one of the two largest telecom operators and through cable operators, while the rest watch through an ordinary antenna or through satellite. In North Macedonia, there are a total of 32 operators that rebroadcast television program packages, via cable, IPTV or DVB-S system.
There is only one news agency in North Macedonia. The Media Information Agency (MIA) is state owned and publishes news in Macedonian, Albanian and English.
There are six daily newspapers, five weeklies and 12 magazines that come out biweekly or have longer periods in between each publication. Two of the daily newspapers are published in Albanian, while the rest are in Macedonian. Sloboden Pecat is the newspaper with the largest circulation, which is usually between 5,000 and 7,000 copies. Corresponding to the largest circulation, this print media has also received the most state subsidies intended for printing and distribution costs of newspapers - 690,000 euros.
Since 2018, when state support for newspapers was introduced, the government has paid out a total of 2.7 million euros in subsidies to newspapers.
The latest research of the International Republican Institute (IRI) from 2023 showed that half of the respondents do not trust the media to a certain extent, or completely. Over 40 per cent of those surveyed trust the media to some extent, while only seven per cent of citizens have complete trust in the media.
According to the same survey, which allowed for more respondents, the majority of citizens still receive political news from television, 73 per cent, marking almost ten points less than two years ago, when 82 per cent said they were informed mostly by TV. Online media were in second place in the survey with 38 per cent, while press and radio are at five and three percent, respectively.