Info bulletins were set up for citizens in thirteen cities in B&H

Press Codes and Complaints Procedure Pamphlets were handed out to citizens

Sarajevo, 03.05.2011

The Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the Media Center and the Association “BH Journalists” held a Press Conference in Sarajevo on occasion of May 3rd, International Media Freedom Day, which is, by decision of the UN General Assembly, celebrated since 1993.

The executive director of the Press Council in B&H, Ms. Ljiljana Zurovac, pointed out in the conference that the Press Council in B&H has recorded and increase in the number of complaints of average citizens, who are irritated by front pages, photos tec. The complaints are not coming only from politicians and public figures anymore as was the case earlier, and it is evident that the citizens’ awareness is developing and that citizens are receiving information with more and more criticism.

Research of the Media Center and the American organization Irex shows that BH citizens place the most trust in the media, followed by NGOs, then international institutions, and religious organizations, while the least amount of trust is placed in politicians, political parties and government institutions. This research shows above all, that the professional media standards in B&H are lower than before.

Also, in the report “Media Freedom 2011: Global Research of Independent Media” which covers 196 countries in the year 201, B&H is listed on the 96 lace with a total score of 48, which means that it has partially free media. The top of the least is, this year again, held by Scandinavian countries, led by Finland, followed by Norway and Sweden, while the last place is held by Burma, Eritrea, Libya, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and North Korea, which is last on the list with a score of 97. Last year, 102 journalists were killed worldwide, eight less than in 2009, as reported by the International Press Institute (IPI) in their yearly media freedom report.

It is evident that the highest level of media freedom is recorded in countries where media self-regulation has been successfully applied for many years and where Press Councils have been set up since a long time ago.

Besides the Press Conference held in Sarajevo, International Media Freedom Day was recorded in other cities. The Youth Journalists Association, ONA in B&H, in collaboration with the Press Council in B&H, the association “BH Journalists”, the Communication’s Regulatory Agency and the Media Center set up info bulletins in thirteen cities throughout B&H: Tuzla, Mostar, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Vitez, Vlasenica, Cazin, Bihac, Pale, Ljubuski, Brcko and Zenica. Promotional material such as Press Codes and Complaint Procedure pamphlets of the Press Council were handed out to citizens, with the goal of raising citizen’s awareness of this day.