What is the state of BH Media Ownership, Transparency and Financing?

November 19, 2017 4:00 PM

The transparency of media ownership and financing of media in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not regulated and allows instrumentalization and abuse. Also, it is doubtful that the exercise of the functions of media public interest is without adequate monitoring, these are some of the conclusions of the report “Looking for better ownership transparency regulation and media financing from public budgets” which was presented yesterday in Sarajevo.

The report was prepared under the project “Media and public reputation,” funded by the European Union and implemented by a Consortium consisting of BH Journalists, Mediacentar Sarajevo, the Press Council and the Association JaBiHEU. The presentation was opened by Vladimir Pandurević, project manager of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, who on this occasion, stressed that he hopes “that this project will result in the adoption of adequate legislation in the field of transparency of media ownership and advertising,” and that in this sense “the authorities will implement the recommendations of non-governmental sector”.

In the opening statement, Borka Rudić, General Secretary of the Association BH journalists, said that the project “Media and public reputation” was presented in the Parliament a year ago, and that the presentation is the result of one year serious research of BH practices in the field of media ownership transparency regulation, media financing from public budgets and advertising. “We are pleased to say that we have completed the most difficult part of the work in this project, and these are the recommendations for the adoption of the two laws and transparent media financing from public budgets. These are topics that are often accentuated in recent years in the reports of the European Commission on the progress of B&H in the process of EU integration“, Rudić said.

Saša Rukavina, executive editor of Oslobođenje newspapers, said that it is important to know who owns a particular media: “When it comes to print media, it became clear since 1996 when the state decided to no longer sovereign public print media. As far as the portals are concerned, for more than 60 percent of them, we do not have information about the property, and the only disclosed information is marketing department contact. We should know the ownership of particular media“, Rukavina said, particularly emphasizing the importance of regulating the marketing industry in B&H, which constitutes an important sector for survival and media financing.

The director of Hayat TV, Elvir Švrakić supported the efforts of the media community to regulate media ownership and financing in a transparent manner: “It is also necessary to devote attention to the question how many media can be owned by one person. Transparency is very important, none of the owners do not need to be hidden because the media use state public resource – frequencies. I think that this issue should not be the responsibility of the Communications Regulatory Agency. In the neighboring countries there is usually a specific body responsible for regulating the ownership transparency. It also raises the question of editorial policy and its connection with the financing. An example is Agrokor. In fact, only when charges were brought, some media began to report on this case“, Švrakić pointed out.




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