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Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists safety 2017, Serbia

This Report comprises the findings of the second research conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety1, implemented by national organisations of journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. This report presents a follow up to the 2016 study that provided an overview of the legislative, socio-economic and political situation in terms of freedom of media and safety of journalists, and identified the key challenges and obstacles journalists’ association and other stakeholders face. The main aim of report is to identify new developments and compare the levels of media freedoms and journalist safety in 2017 with those identified in 2016.


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Protecting privacy on local online portals

Vuk Vučetić, senior assistant at the Faculty of Philosophy University of East Sarajevo, in the Department of Journalism.

“The era of strong media expansion brought with it an explosion of various media content and channels. First of all, today we live in the time of omnipresence of the Internet portal, which informs us more or less about everyday events. Web portals in BiH are developing and generally do not contain basic information on the ownership structure, editors, journalists, financing, etc., which, among other things, represent the “weakest link” in the media space of BiH. Therefore, in this paper, we will try to analyze to what extent local web portals in their reports / texts / contents protect privacy of citizens who have against their will become actors of certain events.”


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Analysis of Implementation of Law on Protection Against Defamation and Impact of Court Practice on Media Feedom

Mehmed Halilović, media law expert, on law suits against journalists, as a way of putting pressure on media.

If we analyze the names of the complainants against the journalists / editors and founders of the media, it is easy to notice that they are in most cases the presidents (political parties or state authorities), premiers, ministers, directors and other public figures. It is also notable that their claim for damages is the largest: most often between five and ten thousand KM, occasionally and higher. Lawsuits against journalists are also perceived as a means of pressure on the media. Important evidence that this is confirmed is the frequency of claims by certain political figures – from several lawsuits to a few dozen. Claims and threats to journalists in smaller local communities have a particularly disquieting effect on journalists.


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Media reporting in the pre – election campaign: Political parties took over the media editorial policy

Borislav Vukojevic, senior assistant at the Faculty of Political Sciences University of Banja Luka about media reporting in the pre – election campaign.

The media in BiH can not fulfill their most important task – responsible reporting in the public interest, because political pressures have, in some way, taken over the editorial policy of the media. Regardless of the Electoral Law that in chapter 16 has certain articles that sanction unethical behavior, most media fail to respect pluralism within their program or content.


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Implementation of the Defamation Law in BiH: Some are protected, and some are scared

Rubina Cengic, journalist from Sarajevo, on the implementation of defamation laws in BiH.

According to estimates by Reporters Without Borders, Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the most liberal countries in the world in the field of legal regulation and sanctioning of drfamation in the media. Despite the excellent laws, the number of media outlets shut down to pay damages for defamation is increasing, aswall as the number of journalists who openly say that they are afraid to apply this law to all justice instituitions in BiH.


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Once the seventh force, today’s slaves

Vera Soldo, journalist from Mostar, writes about supervising of media outlets in BiH.

In claiming rights among journalists, there is no solidarity, coordinated, clear and unified action and organization. There is no trade union for journalists on a state-level, and this is precisely the biggest problem because individual cases of violation of labor rights occasionally “flash” and then all goes back as it was .


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Chronicle of Attacks and Pressures against Journalists in 2017

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia has been implementing the early warning system for four years already. The aim of the system is to facilitate more systematic and efficient monitoring of developments on the Serbian media scene in the five key areas which are most directly connected to media freedoms and the position of journalists and other media professionals. In 2017. is a trend of increasing number of pressures against journalists and other media professionals, while the number of physical attacks and verbal threats is decreasing. This year recorded an increase in the number of threats to media workers sent via Internet and social networks, but also a case of surveillance. An increase in number of pressures, compared to number of threats and physical attacks against journalists, indicates not that journalists are safer, but that the manner of threatening has changed.


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Comprehensive table for municipalities

Each municipality’s expenditure on public information services is presented in this graph. Moreover, the graph represent the categories of incurred expenses. The main categories of expenses are: Announcements, notices, publications, Advertising, Broadcasting of Municipal Assembly sessions.


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Public money spent in the media

The main purpose of this survey is to ascertain the manner in which public money was spent on public information in 2016 by the country’s institutions, as well as to shed light on the reasons these funds were spent for.


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Guidelines on the children protection in media

Reporting on children and young people has its special challenges. In some instances the act of reporting on children places them or other children at risk of retribution or stigmatization. UNICEF and Kosovo Press Council have developed these principles to assist journalists as they report on issues affecting children.


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Approach of the BHRT in Case of the Interview with dr. Sebija Izetbegović: ONE OR TWO INTERVIEWS – NUMEROUS UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

Lejla Turcilo, professor at the Department of Journalism/Communication Science at the Faculty of Political Science University of Sarajevo, about the interview with Dr. Sebija Izetbegovic.

It is unlikely that media content has caused so much attention among Bosnian public as an interview with Prof. Dr. Sebija Izetbegović, director of the Clinical Center of the University of Sarajevo , recorded for Public Broadcasting Service of BiH on two occasions and once publicly broadcasted.


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Journalism in the fight against censorship and self-censorship

Bojana Vukojevic, senior Assistant at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Banja Luka, writes about the struggle of journalists and journalism against censorship and self-censorship.

Public condemnation of verbal and other attacks on journalists, political threats and interference in journalistic tasks are not sufficient in themselves to deny the journalist self-censorship as a mechanism for securing survival and work in the profession. Public protests in the protection of journalists have been organized on several occasions in BiH, but, as with other civil protests, the remainder of the citizens’ solidarity with journalists is missing.


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UN demands more efficient protection of journalists from BiH state – media community believes that Media Ombudsman Office could contribute to better protection of journalists and media freedom

Berislav Jurič, journalist from Mostar, writes about the role of Ombudsman Institution as a protector of media freedom.

The United Nations recommends BiH to take immediate steps to allow a full investigation of the intimidation of journalists and the media, and the protection of journalists, media professionals and human rights activists from all attacks. It is also sought to prosecute all cases of attack and punishment of perpetrators. The media community is committed to setting Ombusmen for the media as one of the independent mechanisms for more effective protection of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and media freedom in general.


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Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, Montenegro (the second national report)

The report presents the findings of the second research study conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which is implemented by the national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. This report is a follow-up to the baseline study which presented more broadly the legislative, socio-economic and political situation with media freedom and journalists’ safety and identified the key challenges and recommendations for journalists associations and other stakeholders. The main objective of this second research study is to detect new developments and to make comparisons with the level of media freedoms and journalists’ safety identified in 2016.


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Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety [Kosovo 2017]

This report is a continuation of the base-line assessment, which presented in greater detail the
legislative situation and socio-economic and political issues related to media freedom and journalists’
safety and identified key challenges and recommendations for journalists’ associations
and other stakeholders. The main purpose of this research study is to reveal new developments
and to compare media freedom and journalists’ safety levels to those identified in 2016.


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PBS Analysis

“The public broadcasting system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since its establishing, faces numerous challenges and problems that, over time, have led to its existential crisis and the question of its survival. There are numerous discussions, analyzes and interpretations of the causes of these problems, but in this analysis we will try to focus on several key unsolved issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible if the issue of the public broadcasting system is be addressed properly, and not only to  maintain and keep alive what we call the Public System/Service in B&H today, which is far from the proper public broadcasting system.”


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Media Sustainability Index in Europe and Eurasia 2017

IREX’s Media Sustainability Index (MSI) provides in-depth analyses of the conditions for independent media in countries across the world. The MSI in Europe and Eurasia provides depth of information about the state of the media in 21 countries from Croatia to Kazakhstan. Local media professionals offer an inside view of the barriers they face in their day-to-day work. In particular this year, they pointed to the rise of shady websites pushing fake news and inadequate media literacy among the audience as key impediments keeping quality news and information from creating accountability of political forces that are attempting to prevent or roll back democratic gains.


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Council of Europe: Freedom of expression and defamation

This study examines the voluminous case law of the European Court of Human Rights relating to freedom of expression and defamation. It starts by clarifying the concept of defamation and positioning it in relation to freedom of expression and public debate. It explains how defamation laws that are overly protective of reputational interests and that provide for far-reaching remedies or sanctions can have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and public debate. The principle of proportionality in respect of defamation laws and their application is therefore very important when it comes to preventing such a chilling effect.


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Far-right Nationalism and Populism in Europe: Assaults on Press Freedom

A research of University of Vienna shows that growing support for far-right and populist politicians presents a threat to journalism across Europe. The study, overseen by Prof. Katharine Sarikakis, head of the University’s Media Governance & Industries Research Lab examines press freedom in 12 European countries, in the context of the threat posed to the watchdog role of independent journalism in democracies by far-right and populist political parties. The research shows a correlation between the rise of far-right and populist political power in many countries across Europe, and intensified assaults on press freedom.


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Freedom of the Media in B-H 2017

Every year, on the World Press Freedom Day Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and BH Journalists are presenting results from the research on Media Freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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Summary of the findings, Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, Montenegro

Summary of the findings established in research conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which is implemented by the national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.


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Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety in the Western Balkans, Comaparative Analysis

Over the last decade, media freedoms in the Western Balkan countries have deteriorated. Political and business elites exercise various forms of direct and indirect pressures against critical media and journalists. Therefore, freedom of expression became one of the top priorities in the enlargement strategy of the European Commission which developed a long term (2014—2020) assistance approach to support the achievement of political goals in the fields of freedom of expression and media integrity.Journalists’ associations (JAs) from the Western Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia), with the support of the European Commission, have been developing a cross-country mechanism for monitoring and advocating media freedoms and journalists’ safety at local, national and regional levels.


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Rights and Jobs in Journalism

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. The emergence of online journalists, social media journalists, multi-media journalists, entrepreneurial journalists and many other forms of doing journalism has not only challenged the traditional notion of being a journalist, it has also led to demands for jobs, new skills, trainings and protections of their professional rights. But one thing remains the same – rights and jobs in journalism go hand in hand together; without decent pay and equal rights for journalists, quality in journalism cannot be guaranteed. Journalists’ organisations play a key role to defend the rights of journalists and equip them to rise to the challenge of the changing labour market.


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Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, Macedonia

This report presents the findings from the research conducted within the regional project ”Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating on media freedom and journalists’safety”1, which is implemented by the national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The main objective of the research study was to provide base-line assessment and evidence for the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, which will be further used in the regional mechanism for monitoring and advocating on media freedoms, and journalists’ safety at local, national, and regional level.




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Mediaobservatory: Comparing models and demanding reforms of public service media

In this comparative regional overview of the governing and funding models of public service media in the countries of South East Europe, we see a variety of solutions. The information we have gathered and presented here demonstrates once again that these media organisations use large amounts of public money – either through the licence fee collected from households, or through state budgets, but the supervision mechanisms for their programming and finances are predominantly politically driven. Almost all governing bodies are entirely or partly appointed by parliament, and despite formal requirements for qualifications, their members are commonly appointed on the basis of political affiliation and compatibility with the political parties in power.


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Chronicle of Attacks and Pressures Against Journalists in 2016

In the course of 2016 on the Serbian media scene, media professionals and the media faced different problems – from labour law and professional issues to the very question of survival. The collection of key data regarding the media scene in this report leads to the conclusion that the past year saw a continued trend in the deterioration of the freedom of expression, both journalistic and media, in Serbia. During 2016 (until 20th December) IJAS recorded 69 physical and verbal attacks, threats and direct pressures.


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Summary of the findings, Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, Serbia

Summary of the findings established in research conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which is implemented by the national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.


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Summary of the findings, Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety, BiH

This report presents the findings of the research conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which is implemented by the national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The main objective of this research study is to provide a baseline assessment and evidence of the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be further used in a regional mechanism for monitoring and advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety at local, national and regional levels.


Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists safety, Kosovo

This report presents the findings of the research conducted within the regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which is implemented by national journalists’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.