Press and media councils from South East Europe and Turkey undertake a Joint Declaration to strengthen media ethics within the digital ecosystem

Sarajevo, November 18, 2021. Press and media councils from Southeastern Europe and Turkey met for a regional meeting in Sarajevo from November 16-18, 2021 and adopted the region’s first joint declaration calling for media ethics to be strengthened in the digital information ecosystem.

The region’s press councils emphasize the critical importance of media self-regulation in promoting media freedom in the fight against online disinformation and urge various stakeholders to ensure the functioning and sustainability of media self-regulatory bodies in the digital information ecosystem.

The declaration is the result of a two-day conference organized as part of the UNESCO-sponsored EU project “Building Trust in Media and South East Europe – Phase 2” and in a hybrid format all of the region’s self-regulatory bodies. During the discussions, participants identified common positions on the challenges posed by the evolving information ecosystem, the emergence of new forms of journalism, the dependence of media and journalists on social media to distribute their content, and the sustainability of self-regulatory systems. The results of these discussions are summarized in the Joint Declaration, which was signed by the representatives of the Press Council on November 17th in Sarajevo.

Issues raised during the discussions included the need to improve ethical standards across the media profession, including new online media actors, and to increase media membership in self-regulatory systems. The declaration therefore calls on the media to provide adequate training and awareness-raising for journalistic standards, but also to ensure that the media adhere to self-regulatory systems.

Our mission is not to name and shame or exclude the media, but rather to help them comply with our press code through communication, cooperation with them and of course by handling complaints from the public.

Dzenana Burek, Executive Director of the Press Council in BiH

The Press and Media Council also discussed at length what role they should play in ensuring visibility of journalism of public interest on social media platforms. “Press and media councils are increasingly playing a role in helping ethical media survive and thrive on internet platforms, especially social media platforms,” ​​said Koloreto Cukali, Executive Director of the Albanian Media Council. In addition, Dzenana Burek added: “The reality is that journalism is inextricably linked to these platforms and we see that journalistic content is too often removed from platforms. And at the moment we do not know what criteria are used for content moderation, which is very worrying. ” because the media are heavily dependent on platforms in their work. ”

“The adoption of a joint declaration by all press councils in Southeastern Europe and Turkey is a solid signal of increased cooperation between the region’s self-regulatory mechanisms, ethical and professional media standards and a call to various stakeholders to strengthen the sustainability and effectiveness of media self-regulation,” concluded Adeline Hulin, Project Officer for the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels.

The joint statement by the press and media councils from Southeastern Europe and Turkey has also been translated into the local languages ​​of the region. The local language versions can be viewed on the websites of the press councils.

Disclaimer of liability

UNESCO – United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization published this content on November 24, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by public, unedited and unchanged, on November 24, 2021 3:29:00 PM UTC.

Comments are closed.