Bosnian state television (BHRT) Management Board will hold a session Monday and one of the main agenda items will be the “Flower of Srebrenica” controversy.
BHRT's Management Board was asked by the Union of workers employed in BHRT to dismiss the Editor in Chief of BHT1’s news programme Marko Radoja for allegedly tarnishing the reputation of BHRT and exceeding his authority, concerning his public appearances and unauthorized procedures when it comes to marking of the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
Some earlier reports said Marko Radoja prohibiter BHT1's news presenters from wearing the Srebrenica Flower badge, a badge symbolising the suffering of the Srebrenica genocide victims.
In their public statements, Radoja claimed he was unbiased, while the Union called on the respect for the law and BHRT's Statute.
“BHT1’s Editor in Chief believes neutrality is the basic principle of journalism, however, the Union believes that the basic journalistic principle is objectivity, and the verdicts of international courts should be an objective attitude for any public broadcasting service,” the Unions said.
“The only thing a public broadcasting service should be independent of is the influence of political parties, especially during the pre-election time.”
They recalled that they warned the management structures of BHRT of possible consequences of Radoja’s appointment to this post. They also claim that this is not the first time that this television station was damaged and they insist that Marko Radoja deserved to be dismissed because of such actions.
In a telephone statement to N1, Marko Radoja said:
“First of all, I must say that BHRT’s Statute clearly stipulates the behaviour of news presenters and journalists of the Public Broadcasting Service. One must bear in mind that Bosnia had a rough history, the country is still in turmoil. It was because of this history that I made a decision, a recommendation and a plea that news presenters don’t wear the ‘Srebrenica flower,’” Radoja said. “On the other hand, all the reporters from Srebrenica wore the badge.”
“I have no idea what all this fuss was about because, as a public service, we transmitted the events concerning the Srebrenica anniversary in their entirety. The flower has nothing to do with my hatred or anything else, but it simply prevented us from opening a Pandora’s box,” Radoja concluded.