New Report – Measuring Media Freedoms
Drastic deviations from European standards on freedom of expression and media exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A new report by Civil Rights Defenders, and local partners Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina and BH Journalists’ Association, reveals. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the media scene in the country.
On Monday 25 September the new Shadow report for Bosnia and Herzegovina was presented in Sarajevo, to an audience from various levels of society (from media owners to representatives of international organisations, local human rights organisations and public officials). The report contains the first comprehensive analysis of media scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina, presenting the main challenges to the implementation of 27 principles related to freedom of expression and media depicted in Council of Europe’s Resolution 1636(2008).
The aim of the research is to draw attention of duty holders to the main challenges concerning legislative, political, economic and professional environment under which media operate today. The most drastic deviations from the European standards in media scene of Bosnia and Herzegovina are related to: the lack of protection for the journalists, unequal implementation of defamation laws, challenges to editorial autonomy of Public Broadcasting System, lack of ownership transparency and media concentration and non transparent allocation of State funds.
During the presentation, media professionals discussed the prospects to improve institutional protection of journalists and cited examples of non-transparent ownership and media concentration locally. The necessity to officially deliver the report to state representatives and seek the opportunity to open a dialogue about the findings of the report and proposed measures to mitigate them was set as the highest priority.
A combination of research methodology that included 107 persons from media and non-governmental organisations to government officials, politicians and experts, was used to base the result in the report. Research encompassed: surveys, 3 focus groups, individual interviews, desk research and final expert analysis. The report was written in collaboration between Civil Rights Defenders and local partners: The Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina and BH Journalists’ Association.
*Despite the name Shadow Report, this is not an actual shadow report (those are reports compiled by organisations in contrast to governments official reports). In this case, the Council of Europe (through Recommendation 1848) invited all of it’s 47 members to draw such report but the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not provided any.