Fast, free, fair!
The Press Council is an independent, self-regulatory body that brings together publishers, owners of print and online media, news agencies, and media professionals. It has been established for monitoring the observance of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, solving complaints made by individuals and institutions related to media content. The Press Council is also authorized to mediate between aggrieved individuals, institutions, and editorial staff, and to pronounce public warnings in cases when determined that the violation of ethical standards as defined by the Journalist’s Code of Ethics has occurred. The Press Council is engaged in the education of media professionals to act in accordance with the Journalist’s Code of Ethics and works to strengthen the role of media in Serbia.
We strive for responsible and professional journalism. Our mission is to protect the citizens of Serbia from manipulation in print and online media and to raise the quality of journalism in Serbia. We’ll act in accordance with the Journalist’s Code of Ethics and our own conscience, in compliance with the law, and under the motto: Fast, free, fair!
(Source: RTS) By analyzing the work of only six online media, the Press Council determined that the Journalists’ Code was violated 2,829 times. From April 1 to the end of June, the work of the “Serbia Today” portal was analyzed, which records the most violations, followed by “Telegraf”, “Espresso”, B92, while “Mondo” and 021 had the least violations of the Code.
Infamous champions in the number of violations of the provisions of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics are traditionally the of crime and show business sections. Researchers of the Press Council also note that the journalists of those columns most often stumbled when it comes to the provisions that refer to the truthfulness of reporting, but also the right to privacy.
“Disclosure of data like a puzzle is very common – in one news the name is revealed, in another the address, in the third a photo and when we put all this news together we get a picture of the person who is the subject of the news. Chapter four on journalistic responsibility are points that refer to the presumption of innocence, publishing inappropriate content, violating the culture and ethics of public speech, but also protecting the rights and dignity of children, victims of crime, “said journalist Aleksandra Grigorov.
In the conversation with journalists and editors whose media most often violate the Journalists’ Code, the explanation is that the news is written according to a template, and the goal is mostly the same.
“We get two types of explanations – the editors say that these texts have the most clicks, so people want that and we give it to them, and we get an explanation from journalists, who say that they have to have it when everyone else has it, I can’t I show up (in eth newsroom) without bloody details, the neighbors’ statements, how they cry at the funeral and all those things that we consider completely unacceptable “, points out Gordana Novaković, Secretary General of the Press Council.
Complaints received by the Press Council also referred to similar violations. There were twice as many of them this year as in the previous year. Out of 131, 94 were considered, and 69% of those complaints were justified.
“We understand that the families of the victims are mostly in shock when something happens and do not pay attention to media writing in those moments and do not even have the awareness that they should complain to state bodies or the Press Council, but we would appeal to their friends, neighbors, further relatives to help them in such situations and to simply stop such writing about them “, emphasizes Bojan Cvejić, a member of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council.
When a text appears in the media that violates any of the principles of the Journalists’ Code or violates the rights of an individual or a group of citizens, the injured parties may file a complaint to that council. In certain cases, non-governmental organizations, state bodies, but also the members of the Council have the right to do so.