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Joint Programmes - Activities by Country
02 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 15491)  

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Title Seminar on media freedoms and self-regulation of media  
Status Completed 
Date 13/02/2008 - 14/02/2008 
Location Not applicable, Others
Countries CoE Members: Serbia
  Joint Programme Activity - Media-Serb II
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Media-Serb II - Support to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of media in accordance with CoE/EU standards    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2006/DGHL/JP/1648   Media-Serb 2 - To support the establishment of a regulatory framework for freedom of expression and for the media
Expected Result 1.3 - R.3 Media professionals are informed of and trained in their rights and responsibilities
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Human Rights
Line of Action ⇒ I.3 – Human Rights in public policy
Programme ☆ I.3.5  Media, information society and data protection
Project 2008/DGHL/1416 Legislative assistance, training, awareness raising
Expected Result 3 Media professionals are informed and trained on their rights and responsibilities according to CoE standards. Civil Society and Industry upholds CoE standards in the context of new communication services.

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Seminar 
Directorate (Service) Human Rights and Legal Affairs (Cooperation - Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building Department)
CoE Contact DERVISAGIC, Lejla   email
Web Pages
Documents & links
1 http://www.coe.int/media  
Last Modified 10/12/2008 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 15491) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The seminar on media freedoms and self-regulation was organised on Mount Zlatibor, in central Serbia, on 13 and 14 February 2008.

The general purpose of the seminar was to inform journalists about European standards in this field, to summarise the ECHR provisions and case law on media freedoms and Serbian legislation and practises and emphasise all existing problems in this area.
Output/Results The objective of the project is to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in Serbia in line with European Union and Council of Europe standards. In depth information on media freedoms and self-regulation should lead to better and more professional reporting by Serbian media.

Protection of sources of information is a basic precondition for journalists work and the freedom of expression. On the other side, however, it might also be a dangerous tool since in practice, in Serbia, there are more and more articles which are based on anonymous sources and can be used for manipulation. Promotion of false information on events and persons and can have significant influence on public opinion. Media using anonymous sources can often put their own credibility in question.

The standard which is one of the most frequently violated both in printed and electronic media is presumption of innocence. Media should not judge and must be careful to use the appropriate terms when reporting on police and judicial investigations and releases and to make the distinction between the terms ''accused'' and ''convicted'' person.

The conclusion of this seminar was that journalist should respect privacy and integrity and apply professional standards in their work. There are many traps which should be avoided. Besides journalists and editors it is useful to have professional associations which could be trained in the implementation of media standards and regulations. Participant agreed that this kind of training would be useful for journalists to better understand their rights and responsibilities and to improve the quality of their work.
Conclusions/Follow Up The impression of the CoE staff and experts was that this topic should be addressed to representatives of many other Serbian media as well.

However, under the joint EAR/CoE project there is no time nor means available to repeat this activity for the different audience.
Participants Participants (20) were media professionals from various Serbian media outlets. Some of them were representatives of national media, while others were journalists from local media (both print and electronic).

All participants were very active during the seminar. The fact that experts were present during the whole seminar and answering participants' questions in a panel format was highly appreciated by participants.
Consultants/Experts Mr Ad Van Loon, media freedoms, basic principles, Strasbourg case law, role of media in democratic societies; benefits of self-regulation; media ethics and accountability systems, role and importance of ethical standards and self-regulation;

Mr Dejan Milenkovic, the compatibility of the current Serbian legal framework in the media field with the European Convention on Human Rights, ethical standards of the media in Serbia;
CoE Secretariat Mr. Vladan Joksimovic, HR Adviser, CoE Belgrade Office – introduction and moderator 
Total No. Participants 20 
Last Modified


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