Roundtable Hears about Importance of Professional Reporting on Gender-Based Violence

One in two women in Bosnia experienced gender-based violence, meaning that 750,000 women were at some point victims, a round table for media professionals was told.

Borka Rudić, Secretary General of the BH Journalists organization, told the roundtable in Sarajevo that the figure is worrying and emphasized the need for a different approach of the media towards reporting on victims of gender-based violence.

The roundtable was organized by BH Journalists, with support from the UN Women in Bosnia and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency, SIDA.

Rudić said that tackling the stereotypes on gender-based violence in newsrooms is important because the media’s job is to report professionally while protecting and promoting the human rights of women who are victims of gender-based violence.

“Today’s discussion focuses on changing editorial policies, as to make the reporting on gender-based violence a daily issue in Bosnian media, in order to change the existing practices,” she said.

Head of UN Women in Bosnia, David Saunders, said that the media play a key role in preventing violence.

“Insufficient reporting and sensationalism in the media can cause great damage because they can affect the way people think and form negative stereotypes,” said Saunders.

The main focus is on professional reporting, he said, because professional journalists provide accurate information, protect victims’ anonymity and support them.

Men and boys who are usually the perpetrators of violence against women need to join the fight, he said, control their worst impulses and act with dignity.

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