A series of workshops on the professional reporting and protection mechanisms for Bosnian journalists and media professionals concluded in Zenica. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia organized the workshops in Mostar, Banja Luka, Brčko, Bihać and Zenica.
Part of a wider effort to address the challenges related to media freedom and freedom of expression in Bosnia, the OSCE Mission workshops gathered around 100 journalists, students of journalism, photojournalists and cameramen. They were designed to familiarize journalists with the legal framework and professional standards governing their rights and obligations in order for them to be able to perform their duties and tasks in a professional manner.
The Zenica workshop was also an opportunity to present the OSCE Guidelines for Cooperation between Media and Police, which are aimed at promoting better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of police and journalists and furthering their cooperation in the field.
Borka Rudić, Secretary General of the BH Journalists organization, said that there is no right without responsibility when it comes to media professionalism: “If we exercise our right of freedom of expression, we must be prepared to abide by all provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
She emphasized that the Convention also foresees certain limitations to the freedom of expression.
“These are formal limitations which have to have legitimate interests and legal justification, with the decisions on limitations of freedom of expressions being made in a transparent manner.”
“By organizing these workshops, the OSCE Mission to BiH aims to increase awareness among the media professionals about the existing legal instruments and mechanisms that provide for their protection and to promote professional and ethical standards in journalism,” said Željka Šulc, Spokesperson of the OSCE Mission to BiH.
“This is especially important in times of frequent attacks and threats against journalists,” she said.
Ljiljana Zurovac, Program Director at Bosnia’s self-regulatory body for print and online media, the Press Council in BiH, said: “Both journalists and publishers are obligated to respect the citizens’ needs to have valuable, timely and relevant information.”
She said that the Press Council is a mechanism for mediation between unsatisfied citizens and media, protecting the public from unprofessional reporting and the media from pressures that threaten the freedom of the media.