AJK launch report on media freedom and journalist’s safety

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PRISTINA, 17.12.2016 – The Association of Journalists of Kosovo on Saturday launched the report on media freedom and safety of journalists – part of a regional project which included five countries in the region.

The report, “Indicators of the level of media freedom and safety of journalists” is performed on the basis of qualitative analysis of documents, qualitative interviews with 14 individuals – mostly journalists, on a survey with 50 journalists and based on official statistical data. The report is divided into three groups: A) The legal protection of freedom of media, B) The position of journalists in newsrooms, professional ethics and level of censorship, and C) Safety of journalists.

The national legislation provides guarantees for freedom of expression, media and information, but the overall assessment of all interviewed journalists and experts is that the implementation of such legal guarantees is weak in practice.

The law on access to public documents continues to be the law that it is not respect by the state institutions. According to the survey, 78% of journalists stated that state institutions have refused to give them access to public documents needed for their reporting. Journalists said that the Kosovo Assembly is more open and the government is less transparent.

Half of the surveyeed journalist’s said the economic situation for journalist’s is gettin worse and mentioned some issues affecting this such as lack of working contracts, unpaid by owners for several months, overtime work is not compensated. When it comes to the safety of journalists, they say that the justice system is not efficient in handling their cases when they are threatened or physically attacked. According to AJK, from 2014 until October 2016, they received 43 cases, most of these are threats and physical attacks. While, according to police statistics, from 2013 until August 2016, 63 journalists have reported their cases to the police.

The report recommends political parties to refrain from exercising influence on the public broadcaster. AJK also recommends that the Assembly should make an appropriate financial solution for RTK. 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.
Full report in English: http://safejournalists.net/resources/