Ms Liljana Zurovac (Executive Director)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: + 387 33 272 270
Fax: + 387 33 272 271
The Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a self-regulatory body for print media, unique for the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the motto citizens and journalists fighting together for truth, the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina encourages active role of citizens and press readers in raising the professional standards of print media reporting.
It is the first self-regulatory body for print media in the Region of Western Balkans and Southeast Europe, whose establishment was supported by the B&H print media industry and journalists’ community. The Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina is genuine in Bosnia and Herzegovina, registered at the state level, has representatives of the print media industry, public and journalists in its bodies, as well as the multiethnic structure. Decisions on the public complaints on unprofessional print media reporting are adopted by consensus, in accordance with the B&H Press Code standards.
By filing complaint on incorrect, unprofessional or incompletely published materials in press, at contents that breach the Press Code of B&H, citizens achieve one of their basic human rights – right on timely, fast and accurate information, their right on truth. On the other side, by adhering to the Press Code of B&H, journalists protect their right to free professional reporting and freedom of speech, right on free presenting of truth, in accordance with guaranteed freedom of media and freedom of speech in a democratic state.
The Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a body that mediates between citizens, unsatisfied by unprofessional print media reporting, and print media, following professional standards of the Press Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also supervises the application of the Press Code of B&H, improves professional standards in print media of Bosnia and Herzegovina, protects public from unprofessional and manipulative journalistic reporting, and protects print media from political, economical or any other pressures that jeopardise freedom of informing and freedom of media.
The Mission of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Improvement of ethical and professional standards in the print media; permanent education of journalists and public about necessities to respect freedom of expression and responsible print media reporting; protection of media freedom and professional journalism from political, economical or any other pressures that jeopardise freedom of media.
The Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina tries to resolve all complaints by mediation between complainants and publications in question. If no settlement is possible, the Complaints Commission of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina adjudicates on complaints. The Complaints Commission consists of 8 members: 4 representatives of newspaper publishers, 2 journalists and 2 representatives of the general public. Adjudication of the Complaints Commission are public, and can be found at the web site of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina www.vzs.ba .
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first country in Southeast Europe that has successfully established Press Council by accepting basic principles of self-regulation in journalism. This professionally extremely important step has followed after existing Associations of Journalists in B&H adopted unique Press Code, in April 1999. They have established the Press Council at the level of one entity (Federation of B&H) in summer of 2000, by electing first twelve members, representatives of both the press and the public.
After five years of existence of the Press Council at the level of Federation of B&H, at 13th December 2006 was held the Establishing Assembly of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the state level body. Establishers of this Press Council were Newspaper Publishers and Journalists’ Associations in B&H.
This huge step for the Press Council shows that newspaper industry and journalistic community have finally recognised the Press Council as the best instrument for professionalization of print media in B&H. Representatives of all major publications from Bosnia and Herzegovina have joined the Press Council. The plan is to include all other publishers from B&H during years to come, by signing the Admission Form and accepting financial and other obligations of the Press Council.
New Chairman of the state level Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina, nominated on 13th December 2006 is Mr Sejad LUCKIN, Editor in Chief of daily "Dnevni avaz". He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Deputy Chairpersons of the Board of Directors are Mr Faruk BORIC, Editor in Chief of daily "Oslobodjenje" and Mr Boris DMITRASINOVIC, representative of dailies "Glas Srpske" and "Nezavisne novine".
Chairman of the Press Council’s Assembly is Mr Erbein RESIDBEGOVIC, Director of magazine "Slobodna Bosna", and his deputies are Mr Ismet BRKOVIC, General Manager of daily "Dnevni list" and Mr Boris DMITRASINOVIC, representative of dailies "Nezavisne novine" and "Glas Srpske".
Following is the list of the international donors who financially helped the Press Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (SHC), Open Society Institute (OSI), OSCE Mission to B&H, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), IFA Im-Pakt-Media, European Commission, Embassy of the Great Britain in B&H, Press Now, Embassy of U.S.A. in B&H, Council of Europe, German Embassy in B&H, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.