Organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Serbia and the Press Council, a two-day regional conference of South East European (SEE) self-regulatory bodies was opened in Belgrade, on Nov. 20.
Head of Mission Jan Braathu said at the opening that the purpose of the conference was to offer a platform for the vital issues of relevance for ethics in journalism and reporting.
“Our goal is for the media to build successful mechanisms of self-regulation, and to eliminate from reporting and conveying information hate speech, propaganda, lies, attacks on individuals and anything else that may undermine the integrity of journalism,” Braathu said, underlining that to maintain the credibility of journalism and journalists was very important for the democratic functioning of society.
Braathu has cautioned that 2,633 violations of the Code were reported from October 2022 to January 2023, and that the figure was lower than the year before, but still very high.
The president of the managing board of the Press Council, Zeljko Bodrozic, said that he was aware of the global tabloidization of societies, but that it went too far in Serbia, dealing with a mutant that had not been seen anywhere else in the world.
“In Serbia tabloids are connected with the authorities. That kind of symbiosis between tabloids and government does not exist anywhere else. I am convinced that, one day, it will be studied as a social phenomenon,” Bodrozic said, adding that respect for the Code would be easy to ensure, if only guidelines for the allocation of funds had been followed.