The media in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not have adequately developed internal mechanisms for the protection of employees and many forms of pressure are not reported internally by journalists. In the media, there are no clear gender policies on the advancement of female journalists, as well as a protocol on respecting gender equality, these are the results of research conducted by the Association of BH Journalists at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year on the subject of the media’s internal capacities and needs in the area of protection and safety of journalists and others media workers in BiH with a special focus on female journalists.
The aim of the research, which was presented to the media today by the general secretary of the Association of BiH Journalists Borka Rudić and professor Zarfa Hrnjić-Kuduzović, the author of the project, is to determine the objective indicators of the safety of journalists in newsrooms of the media in BiH, to assess the need for the adoption of special security protocols, and points out the specific causes and consequences of the functioning of the media without clear rules and procedures on the safety of journalists.
The help that journalists receive through the Association of BH Journalists – Helpline for journalists is important, but Rudić believes that it is not enough, if journalists do not have adequate support in their newsrooms.
“The motive of the research is to help journalists so that the problems and violations of journalistic rights that occur within media houses are reduced to the smallest possible extent and to improve through internal procedures, regulations, protocols on the protection of journalists, freedom of expression, preserving the integrity and dignity of journalists,” pointed out Rudić.
“In the Helpline for Journalists, there were many reports related to the violation of the rights of journalists within newsrooms, within media houses, not only external pressures, threats in the online sphere, political pressures and physical attacks, but also violations of labor rights, discrimination within the media house, mobbing, all forms that are connected with the work and social position of journalists,” stressed Rudić.
The research was conducted through an online survey in which 116 journalists and other media professionals, as well as editors, directors and owners from 61 media participated, and ten in-depth interviews were conducted with female journalists.
The media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hrnjić-Kuduzović asserted, do not have adequate internal mechanisms to protect employees.
“This is crucial for journalists to feel safe. A large number of journalists are not sufficiently familiar with internal documents, they do not know whether there are legal acts in their newsrooms that regulate a certain issue. Journalists, more than editors, directors and media owners, recognize the need for an internal security protocol and rulebook,” she pointed out.
Both target groups of respondents, both management and journalists, she stated, believe that the most useful form of external assistance is the submission of security protocol proposals.
The most requested protection is in the area of “cyber security”, as threats and pressures have moved into the online space in recent years.