THE PRESS COUNCIL IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
THE TENTH SCHOOL OF MEDIA ETHICS
for journalism students from Bosnia and Herzegovina
from the universities in Mostar, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Banja Luka and East Sarajevo
The Press Council in BiH realized the Tenth School of Media Ethics for journalism students from BiH, in the period from the 22nd to the 27th of November, 2015. The School was attended by 45 journalism and communication students from universities in BiH: The Faculty of Philosophy of the University in Tuzla, the Faculty of Philosophy of the University in Mostar, the Faculty of Humanities from the University “Dzemal Bijedic” in Mostar, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University in Banja Luka, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University in Sarajevo and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University in East Sarajevo.
The agenda of the Tenth School of Media Ethics, along with practical exercises, included lectures on the topics: Media Self-Regulation, Media Ethics, Media Freedom and the Freedom of Speech, Reporting on Persons with Disabilities, Coverage of Culture Events, Radio Journalism, Ethics and the Responsibility of News Agencies, Hate Speech as the Abuse of the Freedom of Speech and it Consequences, Mechanism for Protection of Journalists, Moral and Ethics in Societal Psychology, Human Nature, Logic and Critical Thinking.
The lecturers included: Pro. Enes Osmancevic, PhD, Professor at the University in Tuzla and Sarajevo; Rubina Cengic, Magazine Start BiH; Boro Kontic, Media Center Sarajevo; Alex Jagi, Antwerp, Belgium; Dzevdet Tuzlic, BHT1; Faruk Boric, FENA; Arman Fazlic and Una Alikadic, Association of BH Journalists; Amna Alispahic and Ira Adilagic, My Right; Ljiljana Zurovac and Maida Bahto Kestendzic, the Press Council in BiH and members of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH.
The School was opened by Ms. Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Press Council, with welcoming words and an introduction into the agenda of the five-day School. After the official opening, Ms. Zurovac spoke to the students about media self-regulation, covering topics such as: “Media Ethics – the basis for free media coverage”; “The Press Code of BiH”; “Recommendation for Administering UGU/anonymous web portal user comments”; “European Documents” and “Recommendations for founding independent self-regulatory bodies”.
During the first day of the School, Mr. Boro Kontic, Director of the Media Center Sarajevo and radio journalist for many years, shared his experiences with the students through discussion on the topics “What does it mean to be a journalist?”, “How to ‘ignite’ the journalism flame within?” and “Awkward situations we do not wish to repeat.”
The participants were informed about the mechanisms for protection of journalists, the work of the Association “BH Journalists” and the Journalists’ Help Line, during the second day of the School, by Arman Fazlic and Una Alikadic. Ms. Alikadic presented cases reported to the Journalists’ Help Line, noting which journalists’ rights are most often violated and the existing solution to the existing problems.
During the afternoon hours of the first working day, Prof. Enes Osmancevic PhD, Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Tuzla and at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, held a lecture on the topic “Hate Speech in the Media and its Consequences.”
Prof. Osmancevic explained to the students what hate speech is, it forms, and where does the border lie between hate speech and the right to freedom of speech, presenting practical examples of hate speech in print and online media.
The students of the Tenth School of Media Ethics, as part of the Practical Exercises and Simulation of the Work of the Complaints Commission, had the opportunity to apply the newly found knowledge on the work and role of the Press Council in BiH, the complaints procedure and the Press Code of BiH, resolving citizens’ complaints regarding the writings of the press and online media.
Mr. Faruk Boric, Director of the Federal News Agency (FENA), spoke about the “Ethics and Responsibility of News Agencies’, while Ms. Rubina Cengic, Journalist and Columnist of the magazine “Start BiH” spoke to the students about her experiences and their expectations from the journalism profession and the dilemmas they face.
Special interest during the Tenth School of Media Ethics was provoked by the lecture from Motivational Coach and Interdisciplinary Multimedia Maestro, Mr. Alex Jagi, on the topic of “Moral and Ethics in Societal Psychology”, “Human Nature, Logic and Critical Thinking”, and “Stress and Public Speaking”. Along with an interactive approach to work, Mr. Jagi spoke about societal behavior and the creation of group behavior standards, the wish to belong and the need for freedom, thinking processes and the perception of objective reality, breaking molds through logic and analytical thinking and the imperative of changing established norms.
Ms. Amna Alispahic and Ms. Ira Adilagic, Coaches of the organization My Right – Empower People with Disabilities”, acquainted the students with the Code on the Manner of Presenting Persons with Disabilities in the Media, through practical examples of media coverage and active student participation in exercises.
The freedom of expression, guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Essential Liberties, is one of the essential pillars of a democratic society. Ms. Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Press Council and Ms. Maida Bahto Kestendzic, Project Coordinator for Complaints in the Press Council in BiH, spoke about the importance and application of Article 10 of the Convention and about the Declaration on the Freedom of Political Debate in the Media of the Minister Committee of the Council of Europe.
The lecturer on the last of the School was Mr. Dzevdet Tuzlic, Editor of the Cultural Program of BHT 1, within the special lecture on the topic “Coverage of Culture Events”.
The Tenth School of Media Ethics of the Press Council in BiH was concluded on Friday, November 27th 2015, with a certificate award ceremony for 45 journalism students, participants of the School. The certificates, along with proof of the successfully completed five-day educational program, were awarded to the students by Mr. Erbein Residbegovic, President of the Assembly of the Press Council in BiH and Ms. Ljiljana Zurovac, Executive Director of the Press Council in BiH.
The School of Media Ethics, cost-free, was made possible by the Press Council in BiH, which covered all expenses, thanks to its partners – the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in BiH, the foundation National Endowment for Democracy – NED and the organization Civil Rights Defenders.
The Press Clipping of media publication regarding this event may be read here.