07.12.2010

Press Council in B&H 

FIFTH SCHOOL OF MEDIA ETHICS
for students of journalism from Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Mostar 

Sarajevo, 01-05 December 2010-12-14


The Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina held Fifth School of Media Ethics for students of journalism from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in period from 1st till 5th of December 2010 in Sarajevo. 

This is the fourth School of media ethics organized by the Press Council so far, in good co-operation with departments of journalism from four B&H faculties, where participants gain additional konowlege on professional and ethical reporting and free journalism, as basis of democracy. 

This year, the Press Council in B&H has gathered 49 students of journalism from B&H, from Faculty of Political Sciences of Sarajevo University, Faculty of Philosophy of Mostar University, Faculty of Political Sciences of Banja Luka University and Faculty of Philosophy of Tuzla University. Additional value of this School is in gathering of young people from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who, apart from studying together, have opportunity to make new friendships and new contacts, which will be of great importance for them in the future. Friendship and positive energy among young people could have been felt as of the first day of their joint staying in Sarajevo, which makes this School even more important, on great joy of the organizer and sponsors of the School: German Embassy in B&H, NED foundation, CRD organization and JTI. 

In the intensive five days lasting program, students have learned about application of ethical standards in journalistic reporting, on self-regulation of media and professional reporting as protection of freedom of expression and freedom of media, on work of the Press Council in B&H, on Press Code as basis of professional and free reporting, on difference between self-regulation and regulation, on media legislation and mechanisms for protection of journalism, reporting on corporations, on new media and ethics of reporting on internet portals. Huge part of the program was devoted to practical tasks of recognizing breach of the Press Code, based on real citizens' complaints regarding incorrect print media reporting in B&H, Germany and Belgium.
The program was diverse, lecturers from B&H and Europe competent and experts in their field of work, which has greatly contributed to good working atmosphere and special attention of participants during five days of intensive education. 

First Secretary of the German Embassy in B&H, Ms Claudia Bush, had an opening lecture on human rights and right on correct, accurate information, as basic human right, and also on dangerous consequences of manipulation with information. Also, she explained students reasons why German Embassy in B&H is supporting work of the Press Council this year as well, amongst it one of the most important projects – education of young journalists within the School of Media Ethics of the Press Council in B&H.

Self-regulation of media, as basis of ethical journalistic reporting and one of the most important indicators of freedom of media in democratic society, differentiating regulation from self-regulation, media legislation in B&H, European recommendations, charters and conventions which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of speech are basic information always presented to students at the beginning of the School of Media Ethics. Without good basic knowledge it is hard to understand and acknowledge media ethics and oneself as professional journalist who respects ethics of own profession. Therefore this basic lecture is repeated at the end of the School, via interesting test of knowledge – the competitions quiz. By repeating lessons, the ethics of journalism becomes definitely learned. Lecturer for media self-regulation and moderator of the whole program was Ms Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Press Council in B&H. 

Media image of B&H was presented to students through very interesting and detailed lecture of PhD Lejla Turcilo, docent at Faculty of Political Sciences of Sarajevo University, as well as the new trends emerging in B&H journalism. 

Taking in consideration the huge role of Internet and growing popularity of web portals and Internet journalism, in program of the School was included topic respect of media ethics in so called „new“ media. Editor in Chief of web portal Sarajevo-x.com, Mr Faruk Boric, who is also member of the Board of Directors of the Press Council in B&H, has introduced students with work in one such media, explaining one day in such editorial office, starting with ways of collecting information, their distribution etc. He also introduced students with work in daily newspapers and how is daily newspaper made. 

Mr Flip Voets, Ombudsman for Media and General Secretary of the Flemish Press Council in Belgium, had very interactive lecture regarding Internet journalism, E-zine, Weblog, Podcast, Videocast, RSS-feed, User Generated Contents and generally on internet distribution of information. It is worthy to mention that students have had lectures in English language, which also includes discussion, comments and asking questions in English language. 

Interesting lecture, especially for students who, instead of classical journalism, have chosen public relations for their future profession, was on ethics of reporting in corporations. Ethics of behavior, investigation and reporting on corporations was held by Ms Sandra Fazlic-Kasalo, Corporation and Communication Manager of JTI Company. 

Practical part of lectures, when students practiced on real citizens' complaints on print media reporting, raised huge interest of students, since examples were not only from B&H practice, but also from European practice as well. Mr Manfred Protze, member of the Press Council of Germany, through concrete examples of breach of ethical norms in Gemran newspapers, has explained to students work of the German Complaints Commission and dilemmas they have encountered when analyzing numerous citizens' complaints. Practical examples from B&H practice were presented to students by PhD Enes Osmancevic, docent at the Faculty of Philosophy at Tuzla University, also member of the Press Council's Complaints Commission.

Lecture of Ph.D. Nada Ler Sofronic – Reporting of media on gender content always causes passionate discussion and interest of students. This year was the same, especially in practical part of lecturing, when articles from print media on family violence were analyzed, and when results on women participation in this year's General Elections were shown.

Last day of the School of Media Ethics was broadcasted documentary by journalist Boro Kontic „Years Eaten by Lions“, which speaks about consequences of manipulation with information in period 1992 – 1995 at the ex Yugoslavia territory. In discussion with students after the film, Mr Konitc explained what caused him to make a film on such a sensitive topic and reminded students, once again, how important is professional and responsible journalism, which should be the main objective of each journalist.

This project was supported by the German Embassy in B&H, NED Foundation, Civil Rights Defenders organization and JTI company. 

Certificate Award Ceremony was always memorable, this year in particular. Party that followed after Certificate Award, with rock star Irina Kapetanovic, who was great surprise for all students, once again showed that such events are important for connecting of young people from different national regions in B&H and that living together is more than possible. Fifth School of Media Ethics for students of journalism from B&H is over, but it continues through their knowledge on ethics, which will be applied in media.

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