Publication Date: June 2015
Publisher: UNESCO
Research and Editorial Team: Catherine Speller

Commissioned by UNESCO’s Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development and funded by the European Commission, the project ‘Media Accountability in South East Europe’ aims to increase media freedom by strengthening ethical and professional standards in journalism. By promoting the concept of media self-regulation among media and other constituents, it has worked to raise awareness among civil society about issues related to media accountability.

The report focuses on five media councils in the region: in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The report analyzes the functioning of each council and provides an assessment of their needs, based on the particular challenges they face. The report also identifies areas for potential future activities to improve the functionality and sustainability of media councils in the long term. Each chapter of the report focuses on a different media council, and is opened by an overview of key factual information about each organization.

Each chapter goes on to outline the main strengths of the council, summarizes the key challenges it currently faces, and concludes with some suggestions for future activities. Despite the fact that a number of broad issues and challenges are common to several or all of the councils, it should be kept in mind that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model of media self-regulation, making it difficult to compare features and functioning of journalism self-regulation bodies across countries. This issue is clearly pointed out in the literature review section that is provided to survey some of the key work on media self-regulation in South East Europe that has been published to date.

Tags: Self-regulation Accountability Ethics_of_journalism Trust_in_media Western_Balkans Bosnia Herzegovina Albania Kosovo North Macedonia Serbia

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