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    Third Regional Master Class for Media Self-Regulatory Bodies from the Western Balkan and Turkey

    February 07-10, 2019

    Hotel Majestic, Belgrade, R. Serbia

    The Press Council in BiH will realize the Third Regional Master Class for the media self-regulatory bodies from the Western Balkan and Turkey, from the 7th to the 10th of February 2019 in Belgrade, as part of the UNESCO “Establishing Credibility in the Media in the Western Balkans and in Turkey”. This year, the event will be organized in Turkey.

    This regional assembly is expected to be attended by around 60 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Monte Negro, Albania, Kosovo and Turkey.

    The Third Master Class will be dedicated towards the problems currently faced by all Press Councils in the region, such as fake news, hate speech and inciting rhetoric, the difficulty of protecting professional media coverage and the freedom of speech, drastic violations of ethics standards in everyday media coverage, as well as anonymous, unregistered portals that abound in hate speech, unverified and unprofessional information and defamatory articles. In addition to these problems, there is the pressing issue of self-regulatory bodies striving to maintain their material stability, which is decisive for their survival, through efforts to find financing from independent and stabile sources.    

    Along with representatives from self-regulatory bodies, this Master Class will be attended by representatives of the judiciary from the region, who participated on the workshops as part of the project “Strengthening Judiciary Expertise on Freedom of Speech in the Media in Southeast Europe - JUFREX” throughout 2018. Topics about treating libel, media freedom and the freedom of speech, as well as resolving the problem of hate speech in accordance with the rulings of the European Court for Human Rights during the past three years will be addressed as part of the active discussion amongst media and judiciary experts.   

    The participants will strive to provide guidelines for the improvement of the work conditions of the self-regulatory bodies in the region and Turkey, with a special focus of this third assembly being placed on the cooperation among the self-regulatory bodies and judiciary, in order to determine the actual possibilities of implementing the Law on Protection against Defamation for the purpose of protecting both the citizens and free journalistic work, without abuse, as well as on how to act to prevent the spread of hate speech and endangerment of the freedom of speech through greater engagement of the prosecution and courts.

    The extent to which it is necessary to continue the development of media self-regulation, as the only real basis for the development of free and professional media, is evident from the daily political events in the surrounding countries and Turkey. The problems faced are common, the political-economic situation is very similar, a good part of the region uses the same language that allows a high frequency of information exchange and availability of media content, as well as citizens to comment on online portals, and thus a great influence of media from one country on the citizens of a neighboring country.

    Therefore, common action of media self-regulatory bodies from the region is ever more needed.



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    Bosna i Hercegovina

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