The Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is the unique self-regulatory body for print and online media in BiH. It was founded in 2000 at the level of FBiH, upon initiative of the journalists’ associations in BiH and with the support of the international community.It was re-founded at the level of the entire country in 2006 by 10 biggest news
publishers from entire B&H. In 2010, the Council expanded its mandate to online media, web portals. It is a full member of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe - AIPCE, www.aipce.net, and it is also member of the Coalition to Combat Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in B&H.
Its task is to protect the public from unprofessional and manipulative media coverage, but also to protect the media from political, economic and all other pressures that endanger the freedom of information and media freedom.
The Press Council mediates for unsatisfied readers of the press and online media, oversees the implementation of the Press Code of BiH and advances professional standards in the press and online media in BiH.
The motto of the Council is “Citizens and journalists together in the fight for the truth”.
During the years, the Council developed its own educational programs on media self-regulation and ethical coverage standards, on the EU norms of professional coverage, on media literacy and media legislation for journalists, journalism students, judiciary representatives, law students, as well as for citizens about their democratic human right to true media coverage and timely information.The Council also produces the audio show about media ethics, media self-regulation as the basis of free media coverage, and about media freedom and freedom of speech - “Your Voice in Media -ZOOM”.
Special and unique educational program of the Press Council in B&H is the School of Media Ethics, annual 7 days practical education about media ethical standards and media self-regulation, for students of journalism from six universities in B&H. In 2015 the Press Council celebrates 10th anniversary of the School.
As follow up of this practical School, the Council started a new brand project – Online Media Ethics School - http://www.mediaethics.eu/.This online educational platform is established to educate both the public and journalists, especially aspiring ones, about what are professional standards in journalism, but also about why are such standards of extreme importance in a democratic society, especially in transition countries of New Democracy such as B&H. And to provide such education on one place, accessible to all.
-The Press Council in BiH is the first self-regulatory body founded in the Region. As the oldest and most experienced Council, it is a role model for colleagues from other countries in the process of founding self-regulatory bodies. The Council has actively participated in the founding and development of self-regulatory bodies in Serbia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Hungary, Mongolia and Myanmar.
The Complaints Commission operates within the Council, as an independent body, which considers complaints, from citizens and institutions, regarding media coverage. The Commission is composed of 9 members: 3 journalists/editors, 3 representatives of the academic community and 3 lawyers. The foundation for considering citizens’ complaints is the Press Code of BiH, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Recommendations of the Council on Europe on Freedom of Media Coverage, Freedom of Political Debate and Freedom of Speech.