Sarajevo lawyer, Vlado Adamovic, warned on Friday journalistic community in BiH that protection in the court trials may require only those journalists who, in their reporting, respected journalism ethics and professional approach to the subject.
“We have enough legal mechanisms to protect journalists from various suits on libel, or seek payments of large amount of money as compensation for emotional distress, but these mechanisms can run only in the cases when the journalist complied with the Code, and this is often overlooked”, Adamovic told reporters in Banja Luka.
Speaking at the expert discussion “Media and judiciary institutions in the mission of fighting for justice,” Adamovic said that politicians in near future will begin to increasingly use media for battle against their political opponents and journalists and media managers should be very carefull in order to avoid to fall into that trap. Director of the Banja Luka Center for Human Rights, Dejan Lucka, stressed that the public misinterpreted obligation to apply the European Convention on Human Rights and many citizens believe that only the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is in charge for this Convention.
“This Convention shall be binding on all courts in BiH, from basic to state court. Moreover, BiH is one of the few countries in which compliance with the Convention entered into the Constitution”, Lucka said.
On his part, the minister of Justice in RS, Anton Kasipovic, sees sensationalism as one of the major problems in BiH journalism, which could destroy investigative journalism.
“It is necessary that the journalist association permanently stand in defense of journalists when they respected the Code and didn’t do anything without the professional practice. But, journalist associations also must clearly condemn colleagues who abuse the profession and on the basis of completely false information try to manipulate public opinion”, Kasipovic said.
He stressed that the law will never be able to protect journalists as much as it can their professionalism.
The expert debate was organized by the Association “BH Journalists” and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation./IBNA