Bosnian journalists ask for a Media Ombudsman
Journalists are doing their job in bad conditions, and journalism is one of the most underestimated professions in BiH. Black work or work with inadequate contracts represents a significant problem, but neither the signing of a labor contract provides security in the sense of full enjoyment of the rights arising from the employment, as stated in the presentation of the report “Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety” held in Sarajevo.
The author of the research and lawyer in the BH Journalists Association Rea Adilagić emphasized that this report presents results of the third report conducted within the project Western Balkans Regional Platform for advocating Media Freedom and Journalists Safety, that is implemented by the national associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and the Trade Union of Media in Montenegro.
Secretary General of BH Journalists Association Borka Rudić presented shorty the work of the Platform, saying it is an example that the regional approach and networking of journalistic associations can achieve more effective protection of media freedom and the rights of journalists, given the similar socio-political context in the regions. „Our task for the coming period is to develop a common regional strategy for improving the position of journalists and legislators in all Western Balkan countries, with a focus on stronger inter-professional solidarity, which is lacking among media professionals,“ said Rudić.
The Head of Communication and Spokesperson in EU Delegation in BiH, Jamila Milović Halilović pointed out that this project is one in the series of those that are aiming to improve the position of journalists and to protect freedom of expression, but at the same time to help BiH to fulfill the conditions for joining the European Union in a better and faster way.
During the two-hour debate, the present participants from the media community and the international community especially emphasized the importance of publicly announcing every attack on journalists and the media, and thus urging citizens to support media freedom. It is important that the journalists themselves express their support and solidarity to their colleagues – victims of attacks through writing about these cases and publicly publishing the names of the attackers. They concluded that mutual solidarity, support and public condemnation of any attack on journalists was the best allies to media professionals in the fight against frequent pressures and threats. From the gathering in Sarajevo the juridical and state institutions are called upon to work more dedicated and more efficiently in protecting media freedom and rights of journalists, and the request for having an special media ombudsman, as an independent mechanism for protecting media freedom in repeated.