Support to attacks against journalist increases, survey shows

Source: Fena

More and more citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina justify violence against journalists, according to a survey conducted by BH Journalists association and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, whose results were presented on Friday on the World Press Freedom Day.

Compared to 2018, the number of those who do not object the violence against journalists increased by 14 percent.

“I am devastated by the fact that 21 percent of citizens said this time they support attacks and violence against journalists. That's the data that speaks volumes about the media freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this is a direct consequence of not punishing the often physical attacks against journalists, even attempted murders,” said Borka Rudic, BH Journalists Secretary-General, speaking at a press conference presenting the survey results.

According to the research, attacks on journalists and breach of the freedom of expression was reported 27 times this year, while political pressures and attempts to interfere with editorial policy are now more often reported by local media outlets.

Only when the attacks on journalists are adequately sanctioned, Rudic said, it will be possible to talk on what the media community can do to reduce the number those attacks, given the fact that trust in media also significantly dropped compared to previous years.

Peter Hurrelbrink, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Director in Sarajevo, recalled that this was the tenth such research in the row and that throughout all these years many reporters were killed, while 90 percent of those cases were never investigated and perpetrators were not brought to justice.

“Any attack or threat addressed to a journalist in the democratic world is impermissible,” he said.

The survey involved 506 citizens in the period from March 27 to April 8 this year.