Publications about Media Freedom in South East Europe

Professional journalism and self-regulation: new media, old dilemmas in South east Europe and Turkey

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This publication compiles articles authored by distinguished experts and covers Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey as well as Kosovo (as defined by Security Council Resolution 1244).

This book examines the implementation of media accountability mechanisms created, operated and followed by media professionals on a voluntary basis. It was officially launched by UNESCO at the Conference on Journalism Ethics and Self-Regulation in Europe, held on 27 January in Paris.

The publication was produced as part of the 30-month project, Alignment to International Standards in the Media Sector of South East European Countries, implemented by UNESCO with funding from the European Commission and in close collaboration with the South East European Network for the Professionalization of Media (SEENPM), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe (AIPCE).

Freedom of Speech in South East Europe: Media Independence and Self-regulation

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The publication represents the findings and conclusions of a research project of the South East European Network for Professionalization of the Media (SEENPM) under the same name conducted by Media Development Center, Sofia, Bulgaria between January and September 2006 in 10 countries of South East Europe.

The project aimed to improve the media self-regulation in the countries of South East Europe and to further the liberalization of the media, by increasing its professional development to a higher level and promoting its role towards a real public watchdog and strong pillar of civil society. The publication was discussed, revised and enriched at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Alliance of the Independent Press Councils in Europe (September 2006, Sofia).

The Media in South-East Europe. A Comparative Media Law and Policy Study

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This publication is the result of a research project commissione by the Friederich Ebert Foundation -Regional Project South-East Europe to the Institute of European Media Law. The publication presents detailed country reports highlighting the main characteristics of the media sector and providing some details about media regulation.
The report not only focuses on the present situation in 10 Balkan countries but also propose some remedies to improve the situation for media freedom in the target countries.

Media Landscape of South East Europe

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This book is published under a SEENPM research project, mapping regional media landscape, implemented by ACCESS-Sofia Foundation within the South East European Network for Professionalization of the Media (SEENPM).

The book presents a thorough survey and huge volume of comparative statistical data, as well as a regional overview of media landscape of the region. The study is conducted in 2003 by ACCESS-Sofia Foundation, Bulgaria, in eleven countries in South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Reporting Diversity

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A guide to reporting diversity, which provides a point of reference and written material for further thought in one still very disputable field in SEE - how to report diversity.

The Guide is an attempt to help change unfortunate attitudes, habits and manners of thinking in the professional journalistic community. It tries to encourage a debate, since debate seems to be the most useful part of reporting diversity training. Debate may mean challenge, provocation or experience-sharing; it might not result in understanding, nevertheless it presents more points of view, and thus generates greater comprehension, or at least provokes thought.

It builds on the expertise of a unique forum of the 18 independent media organizations which are members of the South-East European Network for Professionalization of the Media (SEENPM) from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Publications about Media, Ethics and Self-Regulation

The Importance of Self Regulation of the Media in Upholding Freedom of Expression

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This study, written by Andrew Puddephatt, focuses on different angles of self-regulation applied to the media sector. It summarizes the intersections of the theme with the practice of journalism, the editorial principles and strategies for corporate social responsibility.

According to Andrew Puddephatt, it is important to recognise the dual character of the media and its implications. Firstly it is a site which permits the free exchange of ideas and opinion necessary in a democracy and which is therefore deserving of the highest protection and freedom from state interference. Secondly it is a social actor in its own rights, who’s choices about whether or how to cover events and whose editorial position can also shape events and in that way is required to act in a socially responsible fashion. It is this dual character that makes an effective form of self-regulation so essential.

Freedom of Expression and Broadcasting Regulation

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This study, written by international experts, Toby Mendel and Eve Salomon, provides content for reflection on the centrality of regulation for the protection, promotion and guarantee of the right to receive, seek and impart information, ideas and opinions.

The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, important in its own right and also because of its function in underpinning the protection of all other rights.

The regulation of broadcasting necessarily engages the right to freedom of expression because by its very nature, regulation may be seen as a restriction on freedom of expression. Indeed, freedom of expression may be said to form the cornerstone of broadcasting regulation in democratic societies and the question of whether or not a given regulatory approach is legitimate will often depend on an assessment of its impact on freedom of expression.

Freedom of information: a comparative legal survey

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The importance of the right to information or the right to know is an increasingly constant refrain in the mouths of development practitioners, civil society, academics, the media and governments.

What is this right, is it really a right and how have governments sought to give effect to it? These are some of the questions this book seeks to address, providing an accessible account of the law and practice regarding freedom of information, and an analysis of what is working and why.

Editorial Ethics Guidelines

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The following guidelines are the result of two courses organised by the Media Centar Sarajevo in 2006 and 2008. The participants, selected by the project’s sponsor, SEENPM, the South Eastern European Network for the Professionalization of the Media, and represented 12 countries in the region. The courses involved face-to-face sessions in Sarajevo either side of months of distance learning course work.

The aim of the guidelines is to provide journalists in the region with the tools to navigate the complex ethical issues involved in delivering responsible, robust, accurate, fair, balanced, impartial and objective journalism in the region in order to inform the public debate so that the audience can make educated choices.

The following guidelines, which cover accuracy, diversity, taste, decency, offence, fairness, privacy, consent and engaging the audience, are underpinned by the fundamentals of all journalism, which are balance, impartiality, integrity and independence.

Ethical Journalism

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The News York Times handbook of values and practices for the news and editorial departments.

In this book one can find The New York Times guidelines of writing and standards of behavior that generally apply to all members of the news and editorial departments whose work directly affects the content of the paper, including those on leaves of absence. They include reporters, editors, editorial writers, photographers, picture editors, art directors, artists, designers, graphics editors and researchers.

Freedom and Accountability: Safeguarding Free Expression Through Media Self-Regulation

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The principal aim of this report is to provoke discussion, exchange of information and experience about the benefits, viability and practical implementation of media self-regulation in South East Europe.

The transformation in the media in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe in the past 15 years has been dramatic, posing entirely new challenges to individual journalists and their profession. On the one hand, the crude forms of state censorship and monopoly of the printed and broadcast word have been overturned, while on the other, more subtle forms of pressure and influence from political and commercial elites have undermined the development of truly independent media.

The report is published in the framework of the project: “Towards Free and Independent Media through Legal Reform and Self-regulation,” commissioned by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) and funded by the Federal Republic of Germany within the scope of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.

Media: The Business of Ethics, the Ethics of Business


This book is published under a SEENPM research project on the good and bad practices of the media business, implemented in the period April-September 2005, by Center for Independent Journalism, Bucharest in cooperation with the Media Development Center, Sofia.

The study is focused on Media Accountability Systems in 11 SEE countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, FYROM / Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia), where the owners and/or publishers are committed either by having initiated such systems themselves, or by any kind of formal acceptance.

Sword and Shield: Self-Regulation and International Media

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Published by the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), this report examines the ways in which media around the world have attempted to regulate themselves.

Written by Bill Ristow, a veteran journalist and international journalism trainer, the report discusses the use of press councils and ombudsmen around the world. While nearly all such efforts officially espouse the same generalized high goal–raising the standards of media coverage, in part by giving the public a chance to criticize and question that coverage–there are significant differences among them in approach, scope, effectiveness, and, most significantly, independence.

The Editors' Codebook

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An essential guide to how the UK Press Complaints Commission (PCC) interprets the press Code of Practice.

The book is a map through the ethical minefield. It will not make you bombproof – but it demonstrates that if you use the code carefully and with common sense you can get to where you need to be with all your best journalistic principles intact. It also shows just how seriously editors and journalists view the code which is at the heart of the PCC system.

By highlighting relevant Commission rulings, it fleshes out the Code's requirements on key subjects such as harassment; the protection of children; intrusion into privacy; and how to resolve complaints. It also includes a series of helpful briefing notes such as how to approach the reporting of suicide. As such, it is required reading for editors, journalists and anyone who needs to use the PCC's numerous services — and will help to raise standards in British journalism further.

The Media Self-Regulation Guidebook. All questions and answers.

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Practical guidebook that aims to promote media self-regulation, boost the quality of journalism and help improve the overall situation of media freedom in the OSCE area.

This guidebook is composed of questions and answers on a wide range of practical questions like how the existing self-regulatory mechanisms work, what challenges they face, how to establish or enhance them and many others of such sort.

Each chapter highlights practical aspects of media self-regulation, including the role of codes of ethics and various accountability mechanisms, such as ombudspersons or press councils.

The idea is that every reader finds solutions that one can tailor to their countries’ conditions.

To Tell You the Truth

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The book is published under IFJ Ethical Journalism Initiative and is an introduction to the background and some of the key themes to consider in building an ethical environment for journalism.

It provides support for journalists who are keeping an ethical flame alive in the profession. In these pages are many warnings about the dangers. There is also encouragement for those who are ready to stand up for journalism and confirmation, in the age of convergence of traditional and new media, that the act of journalism as a public good will not survive on any platform without commitment to ethics and values.

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