Starting point for the proposals to advance the Election Law – Chapter 16, are the recommendations contained in the Final Report on Media Monitoring for 2016 Local Elections in BiH as well as expert analysis of election legislation and ethical rules for media work in BiH during the pre-election campaign.
The proposed changes to the Election Law in the part pertaining to the media and journalist’s obligation in the election process include strengthening the principles of equality in media representation while airing free of charge programming on public radio and TV stations and accelerating the procedure to solve cases of violations of election rules, implemented by Regulatory Agency for Communications, which are indicating to the prohibition of discrimination, prejudice and hate speech in media’s election contents and paid political advertising. Finally, the proposals highlights the necessity to provide fair, impartial and balanced information-political programming during elections.
“The proposed changes are also pertaining to the ban of promotion the interests of one political party, any group or individual, as well as overcoming of one opinion or standpoint when it comes to controversial political, economic and other issues of public interest,” said Mrs. Borka Rudić, General Secretary in the Association of BH Journalists.
Some additional professional journalistic requirements and dilemmas addressed in this analysis are pertaining to the provisions included into BiH Election Law, which more clearly emphasize the editorial independence of the media.
Finally, the recommendations to introduce the provisions that will clarify the right to provide an response during the election campaign in all media, especially in print and online media, have been given. The recommendations to discuss the relevance pertaining to the media silence also have been given. Further recommendations refer to provide an effective solution for issues pertaining to misuse of the frequent occurrence of executive government representatives in pre-election programming. Besides, an appeal has been made so media representatives are invited to bring more creativity into electoral contents and intensify political debates.