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    Media and Public Credibility: Who serves our daily News?






    Zdravko Čupović for

    Media, thanks to their power and social influence represent one of the most important integral factors in the European Union (EU), but their importance may be even greater in countries in transition such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hence, with the support of the European Union, two years ago the project “Media and Public Credibility” was officially presented in the BiH Parliament, with the aim of developing the draft Law on Transparency of Media Ownership, which would in part also regard media financing and protection of the journalism profession and the media’s credibility in public, as would the Law on Advertising in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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    Until the middle of 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina was not included in research relating to media ownership issues. Transparency of media ownership is limited and ownership concentration is not regulated with the existing legislative regulation for the media field.

    The Communications Regulatory Agency of BiH (CAR BiH) reminds that after the adopted delegates’ initiative in December 2016, the BiH Parliament reached the conclusion to move forward with the development of adequate legislative solutions. According to CAR, this issue is within the competence of the Ministry of Traffic and Communications of BiH, which bundled these activities together with activities for the development of a new legislative framework, which would in the future regulate the field of communications, instead of the existing Law on Communication. Prior to this, the agency states, a project in BiH was initiated, financed by the EU, working towards the development of the laws in the field of transparency of ownership and advertising, as well as towards increasing awareness of the importance of adoption of these laws, and implemented by a consortium made up of the BH Journalists Association, the Press Council, Mediacentar and JaBiHEU.

    The author of the report on transparency of ownership, developed within the framework of the Project, Researcher of the Mediacentar Sarajevo Sanela Hodžić states that the importance of media ownership is twofold - it would enable the country to prevent an exaggerated concentration of ownership, to regulate conflicts of interest in the media and related spheres and to promote pluralism, and, on the other side, to “enable citizens insight into the interests and influences that stand behind certain media, on the basis of which they would reach founded decisions on which media they will follow and which they will trust,” concluded Hodžić.  

    - Transparency of ownership is a necessary precondition for freedom of expression, and according to international norms (Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights), countries have the duty not only to prevent impermissible concentration of ownership over media but also to guarantee effective pluralism through legislative and regulatory frameworks - says researcher Hodžić

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