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    The Press Council in BiH in cooperation with UNESCO/EC organized the regional educational event - Masterclass I "Challenges of media self-regulation and online journalism"



    in cooperation with UNESCO and the European Union

    Organized the regional educational event

    Masterclass I

    "Challenges of media self-regulation and online journalism"

    9-10. June 2016, Konjic

    The Press Council in BiH has successfully implemented the regional educational conference "Challenges of media self-regulation and online journalism" in Konjic, June 9th and 10th 2016.

    Representatives of self-regulatory bodies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey participated in this conference. The two-day meeting was organized with the support of UNESCO / European Union.

    Digital technologies dramatically change media ecosystems and the way news and information are being collected, exchanged and consumed. These changes have redefined the nature and practices of traditional journalism, as well as the relationship between media and readers. Professional journalists and traditional media now share the scene with twitter, bloggers, citizens - journalists and social network users. In addition, the transition from offline to online journalism has created countless professional, legal and ethical challenges for journalists.

    The two-day educational conference provided an opportunity for participants from the countries of the region and Turkey to discuss ethics in online media, the situation of traditional in relation to new media, the possibilities of solving problems of web portals without any visible impressum and the abuse of freedom of expression through hate speech and discriminatory content in visitor comments.

    With the welcome words, Ms. Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Press Council in B&H and Mr. Dario Novalic, President of the Board of Directors of the Press Council in B&H opened the regional educational event.

    "We hope this meeting will help you solve everyday problems. We have excellent lecturers who came to share their insight to the ethics of new media with you. We will meet with colleagues and discuss the problems and dilemmas we are facing", said Ms. Zurovac, the Executive Director of the Council.

    Ms. Adeline Hulin, Program Consultant at UNESCO's Department for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, presented the Project "Building Confidence in Media in Southeastern Europe and Turkey", which is being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The project leader is the Press Council in BiH, the first self-regulatory body for print and online media in the region of the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe. The aim of the project is to strengthen freedom of expression, free and timely access to information, and to strengthen the capacities of free, professional media and media pluralism. This is the basis on which journalists and media organizations in Southeastern Europe and Turkey should be recognized as key drivers of democratic, sustainable and peaceful development in the region.

    This meeting gathered representatives of

    • the Press Council in BiH,

    • the Press Council of Serbia,

    • the Media Council for Self-Regulation of Montenegro,

    • the Press Council of Kosovo,

    • the Media Ethics Council of Macedonia,

    • the Press Council of Turkey,

    • the Ombudsman Vijesti from Montenegro and

    • the representatives of the newly established Council for the press of Albania,who shared with their experienced colleagues the problems they are facing and future plans.

    "Self-regulation is a long but safe process. We have to be patient because this is a change in awareness of the profession, not the imposition of rules. Journalists must be aware that accepting ethical rules is the basis of the journalistic profession", said Ms. Zurovac.

    International experts, Gilian Philips, Director of Editorial Services of the Guardian UK, Dean Starkman, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism and former editor of Columbia Journalism Journal from Hungary, Nevena Krivokapić, Member of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council of Serbia and Amy Brouillette, Director of the European Media Project, Center for Media and Society, CEU from Hungary, spoke about the basics of digital journalism, the legal, regulatory and ethical aspects of journalism in the digital age, legal issues and legal definitions for journalists, the responsibilities of mediators and key ethical issues in the digital age.

    Within the panel "Regional Cooperation - Promoting Professionalism in the Media" the participants discussed the topics: "What can we do together to improve media ethics in our countries", "Guidelines for Online Media - Needs, Problems and Ideas", "New Media - new ethics ". Panelists at this panel were Gordana Novakovic, Secretary General of the Press Council of Serbia and prof. Dejan Donev from Macedonia and members of Media NEThics - Regional network of self-regulatory bodies.

    The program also included practical work - simulation of the work of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council, through analysis of citizens' complaints on reporting of the press and on-line media. On the last day of the educational event, the participants visited the Tito Bunker Museum.

    Participants concluded that it is necessary to continue sharing experiences in order to find solutions to the growing challenges posed by digital technologies, such as:

    • moderation of comments by visitors to the internet portal,

    • updates of online published articles,

    • "right to be forgotten",

    • downloading content from social networks,

    • copyright protection rights,

    • audio-video content published by online media and

    • application and adaptation of existing professional codes to new media.

    The educational event was organized within the UNESCO / EU project - "Building trust in the media in Southeast Europe and Turkey".


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