Civil society organizations at a Forum on the fight against disinformation in the media and society

The Council for Press and Online Media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom, organized the forum “Voice in advocating for change and fighting disinformation in the media and society” in Sarajevo today.

The forum was attended by representatives of civil society organizations active in various areas of human rights protection. The participants learned about all the advantages of the self-regulatory mechanism in protecting the right to freedom of expression.

The British Ambassador to BiH Julian Reilly also attended the forum and noted that the United Kingdom recognizes the importance and continues to support the cooperation of the media and civil society.

“The Press Council has a key role to play in encouraging high-quality independent media reporting, with the support of partners from civil society. Attacks on the media and civil society and the restriction of their freedoms are serious alarms for all of us and our response should be strong because this is the only way we can preserve one of the foundations of every democratic society,” said Ambassador Reilly.

He notes that the law on the criminalization of defamation and the Law on the Special Register and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organizations of the RS are bad news for democracy and that the media and civil society should work together to preserve the Code for the press and online media, point out misinformation, while it is up to the authorities not to threaten the freedom of the media, and thus the path of BiH towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

On behalf of the Press and Online Media Council in BiH, Dženana Burek emphasized that at this moment, pressure on the media and limiting media freedoms in BiH is crucial, because BiH media are faced with repressive laws, defamation lawsuits, economic pressures, and criminal prosecution in the entity of Republika Srpska.

“Civil society is also under attack in the RS. We must fight against it with all our forces and continue our fight to enable the media to do their job honorably. The media in BiH need help in achieving the level of professional reporting. Editors and journalists want to work at a professional level,” said Burek.