Bosnia and Herzegovina: Associations and Unions

According to the FES Balkan Media Barometer, there are over 1700 journalists in the country organized in six trade unions protecting their rights. Most of them are active on a regional basis. The most active trade union is BH Novinari (BH journalists), a non-political, non-profit organization aimed at bringing together individual journalists, freelance licensed journalists, journalism students and other media employees. Its key goals are protecting and improving the freedom, rights and responsibilities of journalist and also improving the public’s basic constitutional right to be informed about events in the society.

There is also a Free Media Helpline, operated by the BH Journalists, created for journalists who experienced intimidation or violations of their rights during their professional activity. The Helpline can be reached via telephone, mail or online. After receiving a complaint from a journalist, the association informs the public investigative bodies which should intervene to protect journalists’ rights.

The Youth Press Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Onaubih) was formed in 2007. Mainly funded by the German foundation Schueler Helfen Leben (SHL), the association has the goal of activating the youth in the country by providing them with media education but it has not been concretely active in the last years.
Media owners and directors are represented by the Association of Media Industry (UMI) whose aim is to provide information on TV and radio audiences. The Association thus works for the interest of its members: advertising agencies and media.

The Association of Media Industry is funded by the Association of the Advertiser in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by the Association of Independent Electronic Media and by the Association of Private Radio and Television Stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Association of Independent Electronic Media was created in 1999 with objective of establishing and coordinating technical standards for all broadcasters, fighting for broadcast laws and representing and protecting the interests of its members.

The Association of Private Radio and Television Stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PEM) represents the interest of private broadcasters in the country,

Print media is represented by the Association of Graphic, Publishing, and Media Employees in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There also is an Association of Local Broadcasters of the Republika Srpska.

The Mediacentar Sarajevo is an organization supporting the development of independent and professional journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It holds courses to train journalists and also issues publications and research papers.

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