Press conference/expert conference “Media and journalism in Southeast Europe: Case of Bosna and Herzegovina”

Press conference/expert conference “Media and journalism in Southeast Europe: Case of Bosna and Herzegovina”
Event date: 
Thu, 2014-06-26 14:00
To what extent and in which way are the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina hindered from promoting their public service role? What are the major risks for media integrity in terms of ownership and financing patterns, media policies, functioning of public service broadcasting system, position of journalists and journalistic practices? 
We will be discussing these issues on 26th of June 2014 in Sarajevo, at Mediacentar Sarajevo, Kolodvorska 3.  
Foundation Mediacentar is organizing a press conference (14:00 – 15:00) to present results of a research concerning media integrity, conducted in 2013-2014. The research gives an overview of major current risks for media integrity in the country. The research gives an overview of trends and patterns concerning media system and will hopefully foster much needed future actions and policy developments.
Following to the press conference, the practitioners and experts in media and related sectors will be discussing some of the issues tackled by the research, further informing the debate and giving guidelines to future steps towards better media environment (if you are interested to participate in the discussions, please contact us at: and .
The research, as a part of regional partnership SEE Media Observatory, was conducted in five countries: Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia. It is based on qualitative design, with more than 20 interviewed respondents within BiH and more than 100 in all five countries. All research reports are published in English here. The report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the regional overview will be soon available in publication in local language. 
The project is supported by European Union, IPA instrument, Civil Society Facility Program. The project is also supported and the event is made possible thanks to the foundation Open Society Institute, Switzerland.  
Arrival of participants
13.30 – Registration 
14.00 – 14:30 Opening words/ Press Conference/ Overview of research results 
Opening word:  Andy McGuffie,  head of communication and spokesperson of EU mission in BiH  
Brankica Petković, Peace Institute, Ljubljana: Media Observatory, current needs and key issues in media sector in the region 
Boro Kontić, Mediacentar Sarajevo: Priority issues and needs in media sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Ines Bamburać - Alibašić , Foundation „Mediacentar“: MO project: mission, communication platform, results, with special emphasis on challenges concerning BiH
Sanela Hodžić, Foundation „Mediacentar“: The results of research:  major issues, results and recommendations; 
14.30 – 15.00 Coffee break / press corner 
15:00 – 16:00 Session: Influence of political structures on media sector: missing media policies, underdeveloped mechanisms, distorted practices, newest changes
Moderator: Sanela Hodžić, Foundation Mediacentar
Panelists/key speakers: 
Asja Rokša Zubčević, Head of the sector for audiovisual services and international cooperation in broadcasting  (CRA)
Renata Radić Dragić, editor-in-chief, Center for Investigative Journalism (CIN)
Borka Rudić, secretary general, association  „BH Journalists“
Eldin Hadžović, free- lance journalists
Mehmed Halilović, expert in media law,  adviser for Internews in BiH 
Moderator presents major results of research concerning interference of political centers of power into media sector, with special focus to few recent, symptomatic initiatives and media policy changes (5 min) 
Discussion with panelists on following key questions (up to 30 minutes): 
What are the trends and forms of interference of centers of power in media politics: media laws, regulative, mechanisms of implementation? To what extent do the recent cases concerning media policies are indicative of growing political interference? Relevant cases: initiatives concerning changes of Freedom of Information Act, Draft Law on electronic communication;  
Interference in appointments of key persons in regulatory bodies, public service broadcasters, public local media, as well as appointments of managers and editors in private media; Relevant cases: appointment of the members of the Council of Communication Regulatory Agency (CRA), appointments in public service broadcasters.
Underdeveloped regulation of key issues such as ownership over media: concentration and transparency: how important it is to overcome these deficiencies and how can it be done?
Major current cases and recommendation on future steps to be taken: how to advocate for positive changes and stop the negative trends? What are the positive examples of engagement of different actors in BiH, region and beyond: reactions to detrimental policies and appointments, advocating for better policies? How can different actors contribute to better policies and what makes the positive results possible? 
Open discussion with the audience (25 minutes)
16:00 – 17:00 Session II – Economic pressures in media sector: contested sources of revenues, poorly developed fiscal policies, fight for dominance in the advertising market
Moderator: Brankica Petković; 
Panelists/ Key speakers: 
Senad Zaimović, director of Agency Fabrika, representative of Association of Media Industry (UMI)
Aida Hadžiavdić-Begović, director of Mareco Index Bosnia
Aleksandar Trifunović, online magazine Buka
Eldin Karić, editor-in-chief online magazine Žurnal 
Adnan Osmanagić, director of Radio Old Town  
Based on the research result the moderator introduces key issues concerning sources of revenues for media, questionable involvement of state institution in the regulation of market, as well the current trends in the audience measurement system (5 minutes)
Discussion with panelists on following key questions (up to 30 minutes): 
Is the overall fiscal policy towards media satisfactory and does it allow for the survivor of quality and non-compromised media?  Are such media supported in any way and how sustainable are they? 
How is the advertising market in BiH endangered and how can it be protected? Especially, how to tackle the flow of advertising revenues into foreign markets? 
Current developments with system of measurement of TV audience: How will the recent developments concerning the audience measurement will affect the market? What do they indicate?  Is there a need for the association of media industry to balance particular interests? What is the worst and what is the best that can happen? 
How efficiently are the institutions such as Institute for Measurement, Council of Competition and Communication Regulatory Agency performing the regulation of media market and assurance of fair competition?  What can be improved?
What can be improved in order to ensure economic environment supportive over plural, independent and quality media?  How can different actors contribute? 
Open discussion with the audience (25 minutes)
17.00 – Reception for participants