OSCE MISSION TO BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
MEDIA GUIDELINES IN DEALING WITH THE POLICE
Both the Police and the Media have legitimate, professional aim and tasks, which must be respected and appreciated in order to accomplish successful and mutually useful co-operation.
Both the Police and the Media must behave in accordance with the Law.
1. A journalist should be ready to reveal their identity in official contact with police.
2. A journalist should carry their Journalists’ Cards when they perform their professional duties. Usually, a card with name, photo, name, address, logo and stamp of media suffice.
3. Journalists should respect police procedures when approaching places with limited access.
4. Journalists can be requested to ask permission from police or other authorised bodies to approach certain places (such as crime seat or security devices) and they can be subject to special restrictions in behaviour (such as the ban of photographing). In the worst case scenario, terms of approach should be determined in advance.
5. Journalists should abide by the Press Code in performing their professional tasks, including cases involving the police.
6. Journalists should be cautious to report accurately, and to avoid deliberate and conscious publishing of incorrect, distorted or misleading information. Journalists should avoid to deliberately or consciously publish materials that might endanger police work and/or investigation.
7. Journalists have an obligation to protect confidential sources of information if they are subject to the police interrogation. Journalists, as well as citizens, have right to engage a lawyer during the police interrogation.
8. Journalists bear responsibility in cases of the revealing identity of a victim of violence. The identity of children under 18 years, either victims or perpetrators of crime act should be protected until the police reveal their names. The identity of victims of hatred crimes, especially rape victims, must not be revealed without victim’s permission. The identity of deceased persons can be revealed only with permission of the close family, or after the formal identification.
9. If journalists are asked to give in materials made in a legitimate manner, they can ask the authorisation for insight. If the police possess the authorization, then they can temporarily take materials which might be used as evidence in criminal procedure. These materials must be given into the Court for keeping, or for keeping in some other way prescribed by the court. Anyway, that material should not be used for reporting, until the legal opinion is obtained.
10. Journalists are invited to report all cases of threats, maltreatment and/or intimidation to the police, IPTF, OSCE, so they could resolve it or conduct the monitoring.
Media Guidelines in Dealing with the Police
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