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    Media and Public Credibility: Between the Public and the Advertisers’ Interest

    Media and Public Credibility


    Western media economists have calculated that the revenues from advertising constitute more than two-thirds of a print media’s income. This fact was published a few years ago, and this percentage has increased in the meanwhile.

    Apparently, the media cannot make it without advertising. Thus the dilemma is rightfully posed – can an advertiser overtake the editorial policy in accordance with its needs and motives, and, if so, in which moment?! This question does not represent a worry for a “regular human”, consumer of media content, but the potential consequences can with time become devastating for the entire society.

    Without any dilemma, media are the main creators of public opinion, and thus, if lead exclusively by the advertisers’ interest, their impartiality, timeliness and general public interest could fall into second place. The danger of abusing the readers and public’s trust, which was many years in the making, certainly exists. The regulation of the policy of media advertising, hence in a way presents the interest of the entire society, and therefore the regulation of this field, and support of this, must be one of the media stakeholders’ priority.

    Stress, pressure, underpayment and life expectancy of journalists which is noticeably shorter than the average, make this profession less and less appealing for future generations. Therefore, both, the advisory and material support for the media in BiH from the international community should not be left out, because the collapse of the already damaged principles of free journalism would be devastating for the whole country, as well as a failure of the international community who was from day one involved in the creation of the foundations of a democratic society, where the role of free and independent journalism is cemented.

    The media must maintain their role of the government’s corrector, “the keeper of democracy” and they should not be allowed to become hostages of interest groups. A big challenge.

    (Zdravko Čupović)

    The Project “Media and Public Credibility” is supported by the EU Delegation in BiH, however, the Delegation is not responsible for the content of this article.


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