Second set of roundtables on media accountability starts in South East Europe
UNESCO is giving a new kick-off to the discussion on media accountability in South East Europe by launching the second cycle of national events in the region. The project, Alignment to International Standards in the Media Sector of South-East European Countries, aims at encouraging, assisting and accelerating media reforms in the South-East European countries.
The first set of roundtables took place during the fall of 2009 in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). The second round is scheduled for 20 September - 1 November 2010 in the following cities:
<li>Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
<li>Skopje, Macedonia; and
<li>Pristina, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).
In the era of knowledge and information societies any effort at limiting the free flow of information is futile. UNESCO's focus on the promotion of ethical and professional standards is the result of an ongoing dialogue with the media and their associations, and with the civil society. This includes ensuring that self- and co-regulatory mechanisms are entrenched in media laws and regulatory frameworks.
Voluntary self-regulation by promoting standards helps maintain the media's credibility with the public. The forthcoming roundtables aim at building the capacity of media professionals in South East Europe on voluntary self-regulatory and newsroom ombudsman mechanisms. The agenda will also include issues related to professional journalistic standards on Internet.
The two-and-half-year project, which began in 2008, is funded by the European Commission and implemented by UNESCO. The round tables are organized in close collaboration with the <a target=_blank href="http://www.seenpm.org/new/">South-East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM)</a>, which is an umbrella organization uniting 18 media centres and institutes from the region, and the <a target=_blank href="http://www.osce.org/">Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)</a>.
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