THE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION OF THE PRESS COUNCIL IN BIH
is issuing a
WARNING AND APPEAL TO
PRESS AND ONLINE MEDIA OWNERS, EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS
The inflammatory rhetoric, hate speech and warmongering acclamations, threats and offenses on the basis of nationality have flooded the front pages of certain media in BiH and neighboring countries, causing panic and great uneasiness amongst the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH is issuing an appeal and warning for editors and journalists of the press and online media in BiH to uphold the professional coverage standards of the Press Code of BiH, and not to succumb to political pressure and the spread of warmongering rhetoric and hate speech.
Journalists and editors should be aware of the power of the messages they send through their media and of the responsibility for contents they publish. The Press Code of BiH in its General Provisions provides that journalists “... have an obligation to the public to maintain high ethical standards at all times and under all circumstances!”.
Journalists and editors have the responsibility of not contributing to the spread of panic and fear by publishing unverified and false information, speculation and assumptions, during such times of escalated tensions in the country.
While transmitting the statements of politicians, the journalists and editors are obligated to evaluate whether those statements are worthy of publishing and whether they are in the public interests or in the interests of achieving the goals of certain political options.
The Commission also appeals to the owners of printed and online media in BiH to be aware of the danger that can be caused, even unintentionally, by publishing sensationalistic titles and articles in order to increase their rating and number of clicks, thusly violating the codes of the journalism profession.
This region has, unfortunately, experienced the consequences of such inciting headlines in its recent history. The Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH appeals to owners of printed and online media, editors and journalists to not allow themselves to be sucked into political games and become servants of daily-political and warmongering games, repeating the mistakes from the 90’s.
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