Sarajevo, September 17, 2020 – Quality information is crucial for citizens, their personal lives, but (even more) for their participation in a democratic society. In this sense, the responsibility of the media to provide reliable, verified, accurate, and impartial information is crucial in any society, especially in societies with a relatively low level of political culture, democratic tradition, and media literacy, where the manipulative power of the media and related elites big.
The BH Journalists Association is currently conducting a survey on the quality of media content created by local media, in order to obtain concrete data on whether they work in the public interest and whether a mix of non-media circumstances in local communities (with local authorities, pressures from local authorities, etc.) and internal problems of local media (under-capacity in terms of both human and technical resources, problems of financial sustainability, level of education and motivation of employees, etc.) affect the quality of the information provided by local media.
The main researcher is prof. dr. Lejla Turčilo, with many years of experience in conducting research, and the monitoring sample includes 50 local Bosnian media (print, electronic, and online) that are both publicly and privately owned. The subject of research in these media will be media content that includes topics and issues of importance to local communities, their objectivity, diversity, and quality.
The technique of data collection will be media monitoring to obtain statistical indicators on media content, and interviews to obtain qualitative data on the context of local media in local communities and the causes and consequences of their media coverage.
Monitoring should show whether the standards of the profession are respected in the local media in BiH, whether the content is created in accordance with the principles of impartiality and pluralism of opinion, and the quality of media coverage of local media on topics of public interest.
The research will be conducted in the second half of September in local media operating throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska, and Brcko District), and a report with research findings and recommendations will be presented in late October 2020. This activity is part of the project “Free Media, Free Society”, implemented by the BH Journalists Association in cooperation with the Association of Electronic Media in BiH (AEM BiH), with the financial support of the European Union.