Media integrity matters

Conference1 December 2014 – 2 December 2014 | City Hotel, Ljubljana

The South East European Media Observatory  is organizing theregional conference »Media integrity matters« on anti-corruption in the media systems in the countries of South East Europe. The regional conference aims to gather and connect key actors of anti-corruption in state system and in civil society with other group of civil society organisations committed to protect media freedom and media integrity – to discuss the patterns of corrupt relations and practices in the media systems in the countries of South East Europe; to learn about capacities and experiences with anti-corruption in this field; to discuss potential measures against corrupt relations/practices in the media systems which could be developed in a systematic way through the state system and with civil society engagement. The conference will take place on 1st December in Ljubljana.

The South East European Media Observatory recently published a research report “Media Integrity Matters – Reclaiming Public Service Values in Media and Journalism”, elaborating new analytical framework and mapping patterns of corrupt relations and practices in media policy, media ownership and finances, public service broadcasting, situation of journalists and in media practices in five countries of South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia. Earlier this year five investigative journalists and their teams supported by the Observatory published articles disclosing concrete cases of corruption in the media systems of these countries.

Why? As elaborated in the report Media Integrity Matters, the obstructions and disrespect for public interest in the media in the countries of South East Europe are consequence of corrupt relations and practices that are integrated in their media systems. We can follow them in various parts of the media systems – how media policy and media laws are developed and how their implementation is obstructed by undermining independence of media regulators; how media ownership and media finances are hidden from public and abused for particular private and political interests; how public service broadcasters are destabilized and captured by particular interests through governing and financing patterns; how journalists are professionally and economically degraded and disabled from being public service operators, etc. At the SEE Media Observatory we see these problems as interconnected and fused into a corrupt system which is major problem of media and democracy in our countries, and as such has to be addressed in a systematic way. We see the burning need to systematically elaborate, develop and defend those qualities of media systems which put media and journalism in the service of public. Shortly – to defend media integrity.

Having in mind this need, we are inviting to the regional conference on anti-corruption in the media systems a leading representatives of independent state bodies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia vital for our topic, as well as relevant civil society organisations and journalists from these countries, as we truly believe we can altogether largely benefit from such a meeting.