Journalists’ associations in region are key to advocating greater media freedoms

Journalists’ associations in region are key to advocating greater media freedoms

SARAJEVO, November 20 (FENA) – Association of BH Journalists in cooperation with the Regional Platform of the Western Balkans “Safejournalists.net” and with the support of the European Union presented today in Sarajevo the report “Media freedom level and journalist safety indicators in BiH 2019”.

This report is part of the fourth regional assessment of the level of media freedom and safety of journalists in BiH.

President of the Association of BH Journalists, Marko Divković, mentioned that BH journalists have been warning for years about the problems that journalists in BiH face, but that none of the key elements included in the indicators of media freedoms are significantly changing or improving.

“The fact that we had 56 different forms of attacks on media freedoms during the last year actually shows where we are in this area. A large number of lawsuits against journalists and newsrooms also causes a low perception of media freedoms in BiH. It is a special kind of pressure that is constantly present in journalists, while the judiciary does not show understanding of the role of media freedom and the methodology of their work,” said Divković.

Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Ambassador Johann Sattler addressed the participants of today’s conference via Zoom application and emphasized that he has experience in the media and that he knows what it means when his own security is at stake and that the EU will continue to support initiatives to address this issue.

“We must ensure that media workers do their job in a safe environment. This is something that the government in BiH must address, and cases of endangering their security must be investigated. In BiH, we had too many cases of attacks on journalists last year. This is a problem of the whole region that needs to be solved. Freedom of speech and expression must be ensured,” Sattler said.