Sarajevo, 12.03.2020. – BH Journalists Association joins the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in calling on European policymakers and the media to report responsibly and based on verified information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The European Federation of Journalists called on the media to report responsibly and avoid creating unjustified panic in the public regarding the coronavirus pandemic, as well as spreading discriminatory and racist comments.
Journalists must be able to deliver factual information and clear recommendations to citizens who are more and more irritated by the inflation of information around the COVID-19. They have a duty to counter dis- and misinformation about the coronavirus. They have a responsibility to give the floor to experts, qualified to comment on such sensitive issues.
– We believe media and journalists’ role is to provide citizens with verified, accurate and factual reporting and avoid sensationalism that could lead to panic and fear.
The IFJ Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists is an excellent reference in such times of uncertainty. Journalists and media must report on facts and reliable scientific sources, avoiding speculation. Fear-inducing vocabulary that could create a state of alarm that does not correspond to reality should be avoided. Journalists should also be especially sensitive with the privacy of affected people – says the appeal to the media outlets from EFJ.
Accordingly, the BHJA and EFJ call on public authorities and medical institutions to provide timely and transparent information so that journalists and the public have access to all the relevant information. Also, it is important for media employers to evaluate day by day risks of journalists reporting from both outside and inside the newsroom.