Sarajevo, 10th May 2007
25TH SESSION OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION held in Sarajevo
ANALYSED 10 COMPLAINTS OF CITIZENS 4 adjudicated in accordance with the Press Code: two upheld, one not upheld, one still in procedure 4 complaints mediated 2 advisory notes to complainants, without official submitting of complaints
10 complaints of citizens of print media reporting in period January - April 2007 was analysed at the 25th session of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Complaints related to reporting of dailies "SAN", "AS", "Glas Srpske" and "Oslobodjenje", and magazines "SAFF", "Intermezzo" and "Hercegovacke novine". Also, two verbal complaints were registered by telephone, without official filing of complaint, on magazine "Slobodna Bosna" and daily "SAN". Four complaints were mediated by the Press Council, with positive editorial reply and published corrections and denials:
1. Complaint of the Association of Pensioners "Petar Mrkonjic" from Mrkonjic Grad regarding article "Ambitions Stirred Passions", published on 18th December 2006 in daily "Glas Srpske": denial published after mediation of the Press Council, on 23rd December 2006 under the title "Activists Work Illegally".
2. Complaint of the Director of the Elementary School "Al Walidein Gazzaz", Mr Muhd Ahmad, at the article "Vainly Waiting for Nuns", published on 29th of December 2006 in magazine "SAFF": denial published after mediation of the Press Council, on 9th March 2007 under the title "Reactions"
3. Complaint of the Chairman of the Assembly of Establishers of the Colleague for Industrial Business Prijedor, Mr Nedjad Bajric, at the article "Faculty at the Car-wash", published on 1st March 2007 in daily "Oslobodjenje": denial published after mediation of the Press Council, on 7th of March 2007 under the title "Distorted Image - with regard to the article Faculty at the Car-wash".
4. Complaint of employees of the Federation B&H Archive at the article "Victims of Mobbing Left to Themselves", published on 2nd of April 2007 in daily "Oslobodjenje": denial published after mediation of the Council, on 7th April 2007 under the title "Fabricated Case".
Two verbal complaints on consulting basis, without official filing of complaint, regarding reporting of magazine "Slobodna Bosna" and daily "SAN":
1. Complaint of Mr Vinko Miladinovic, judge of the Main Court Modrica, at the article "Judge Vinko Miladinovic is Proven Delinquent", published in August 2006 in daily "SAN": complainant refused to send denial to editorial office, stating that publishing of an additional letter cannot diminish damage caused after publishing of the article in question.
2. Request of Mr Osman Brka for self-initiative reaction of the BH Press Council at the editorial comment under the title "Saturday, 31st March", published in column "Seven days and people" of magazine "Slobodna Bosna", on 5th April 2007: the complainant was informed that published content does not fall under journalistic genre at which the Press Council might react self-initiatevly. However, if he would like to file a complaint, he can do it in accordance with the Complaints Procedure of the Press Council, after which the Council will review his complaint.
Four complaint were discussed at the session, in accordance with the Press Code:
1. Clinical Centre of the Sarajevo University - daily "AS": breached Articles 2, 3, 5 and 13 of the Press Code:
The complaint referred to articles published in daily "AS": 24th January 2007: "Was 22 Years Old Fazila Pasic Actually Killed?", 27/28th January 2007: "Autopsy Confirmed that Doctors Have Killed Fadila Pasic" and 31st January 2007: "Internal Investigation at Gynaecology on Fadila Pasic's Murder". The Council concluded that daily "AS" has breached Article 2 - Editorial Responsibility, Article 3 - Incitement, Article 5 - Accuracy and Fair Reporting and Article 13 - Confidentiality of Sources of the Press Code, due to misuse of information and principles of second party, and due to easy characterisation of the case as "murder", which has caused damage to an institution.
2. Tourist Organisation of Republika Srpska - magazine "Intermezzo": breached Articles 7 and 16 of the Press Code, a note submitted to complainant:
Complaint of acting director of Tourist Organisation of Republika Srpska, Mr Mile Milekic, related to articles published in city magazine "Intermezzo" from Banja Luka: November 2006: "Activities of TORS - Never Seen Before"; Special publication My Home, November 2006: "Where Goes Tourism in RS -New Irregularities"; December 2006/January 2007: "Who Runs TORS and Promotes RS World-wide?" and February 2007: "Steering and Supervisory Boards Protect Irregularities of TORS". The Council has concluded that both sides have made mistakes: Mr Miletic and TORS due to disrespect of the Law on Free Access to Information and refusing to submit answers to "Intermezzo", in accordance with legally binding deadline of 15 days, and magazine "Intermezzo" due to breach of Article 7 - Opportunity to Reply and Article 16 - Complaints, i.e. refusing to publish reply of the complainant.
3. Mr Ramiz Hodzic - magazine "Hercegovacke novine": complaint not upheld, the Press Code was not breached
Complaint of Mr Ramiz Hodzic related to articles published on 23rd February 2007 in magazine "Hercegovacke novine" under the title "Sleep More, Ramiz!" and "Witnesses Defend Guards", and editorial reply published on 9th March 2007 under the title "Dear Mr Ramiz Hodzic!". The Council has concluded that Press Code was not breached, since the editorial of "Hercegovacke novine" did publish complainant's denial in complete, in accordance with professional norms of the Press Code.
4. Mr Halid Genjac - daily "SAN": accepted request of Mr Genjac for additional review of the Press Council's Adjudication adopted on 15th December 2006
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