Researching media freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019

The survey

In the period 27th March-8th April 2019, a representative sample of households was contacted via telephone and the youngest member of the family (provided he/she was over 18) was interviewed, for a total of 506 people.

The results

Prof. Dr. Bozo Skoko, Professor of Public Relations and Head of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb, analysed the data and wrote his conclusions in this report made for the needs of the “Friedrich Ebert” Foundation and the Association of BH Journalists .

According to the Author, this year's research shows several very concerning trends in the attitude of BH citizens towards media and journalists: there is decreasing trust in media, an inclination to blame journalists for being attacked, and a growing concern about their professionalism.

For the first time in the last few years, “more people do not believe in media than those who do”.

In general, trust in media fell from 77% in 2018 to 66% in 2019, while confidence in religious communities, institutions of power, and politicians increased.

According to most respondents, media freedom doesn't exist; people see larger freedom in the other entity (Bosnia on one side, Herzegovina on the other). The main hurdle to free media seems to be seen in “interdependence between politics, media and journalists”, while the strongest influence on the work of media continues to be seen in politicians and political parties.

Other issues examined in the report are opinions about violations of journalists' rights and violence (21% of the sample considers attacks on journalists justified, a fact that the Author considers “shocking”), suggestions for the improvement of journalists' work and quality of information, opinions about public media service and their financing.

Conclusions

All the above mentioned negative findings and the decrease of trust in traditional media are balanced by the increasing trust in the capability of the Internet to strengthen pluralism. The Author suggests that the best way to regain citizens' trust is that journalism shall "defend its honor and prove to be independent from political and other pressures".

Tags: Bosnia Herzegovina Media_freedom Media_pluralism Trust_in_media Violence_against_journalists Freedom_of_expression
Publication Date: 16/07/2019
Source: prof. dr. Bozo Skoko, Marko Custic
Accessibility: free