PRESS RELEASES, DECLARATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Vienna, 23 September 2008
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), would like to announce the following upcoming SEEMO events and publications.
The II South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) in Sofia, Bulgaria The topic of the II SEEMF is “Media and Democracy in South East Europe: Professional Standards and Education of Journalists.” The II SEEMF will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 5-6 November 2008. This annual event is organised by the WAZ Medien Gruppe, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and SEEMO. The local partners of this year’s SEEMF are the Newspaper Group Bulgaria and the Media Development Centre, Sofia. Over 150 participants are expected, including editors-in-chief, media executives, and representatives from media education centres and university schools of media and communication in South East and Central Europe.
Presentation of the VI Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Media Award for Better Understanding in South East Europe
The VI Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Media Award will be presented in Vienna on 16 November 2008 by Dr. Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, Coordinator of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), Chairman of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) and President of the European Forum Alpbach, and by Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.
SEEMO Conference: Public Services in South East and Central Europe
The SEEMO Conference on Public Services will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 9-11 December 2008. SEEMO is organising the conference in cooperation with Radio-Television (RTV) Slovenia and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) – Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The directors of public services, representatives of regulatory agencies and media experts from South East Europe are expected to participate. This is the third conference organised this year by SEEMO and ADC-ADA. Two successful conferences were already held in Belgrade in June 2008: the conference on “Media, Marketing and Business” and the conference on “Private News Agencies in South East Europe”.
Presentation of the VI SEEMO Human Rights Award for Media Professionals in South East Europe
The VI SEEMO Human Rights Award for Media Professionals in SEE will be bestowed upon a media professional from South East Europe on 10 December 2008. The SEEMO Human Rights Award is presented annually on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.
Upcoming SEEMO Publications
In the coming weeks, a new edition of the media magazine De Scripto will be published by SEEMO. In addition, SEEMO will soon publish the “SEEMO Investigative Reporting Handbook”, a book on “Media and PR” and a book on “Media, Marketing and Business in South East Europe”. Furthermore, publications on “Public Broadcasting in South East Europe” and “Women, Men and Media” are in planning.
Finally, SEEMO would like to announce the publication in two volumes of the 2008 edition of the “South East and Central Europe Media Handbook” (“SEEMO Media Handbook”) in October 2008. The Media Handbook includes media reports and contact details of selected radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, media organisations, media schools, journalists’ organisations, and internet service providers and other new media from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Bulgaria. SEEMO publishes this book annually in cooperation with its partners, the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and the ERSTE Foundation.
SEEMO General Information
The current SEEMO staff members in Vienna are: Krasimira Plachetzky, SEEMO assistant; Sara di Pede, SEEMO assistant; Sladjana Matejevic, SEEMO conference and financial coordinator; Elva Hardarson, press freedom and fundraising coordinator and Selma Koric, coordinator De Scripto magazine.
The SEEMO Board members are: Radomir Licina (senior editor Danas daily, Belgrade), Agron Bajrami (editor-in-chief Koha Ditore daily, Pristina), Boris Bergant (deputy director RTV Slovenia, Ljubljana and EBU vice-president), Pavol Mudry (founder and board member, SITA news agency, Bratislava), Marta Palics (editor, RTV Novi Sad, Novi Sad), Jorgos Papadakis (journalist, Athens) and Zrinka Vrabec Mojzes (editor, Radio 101, Zagreb).
The SEEMO Coordinators are: Albania – Frrok Cupi (director, Agon newspaper, Tirana), Bulgaria – Ognian Zlatev (director, Media Development Center, Sofia), Bosnia Herzegovina – Samra Luckin (director, BORAM, Sarajevo), Croatia – Ante Gavranovic (former president of the Croatian Journalists Association (HND), Zagreb and of Croatian Publishers Association, Zagreb), Greece – Jorgos Papadakis, Moldova – Alina Radu (director, Ziarul de Garda newspaper, Chisinau), Romania – Marina Constantinoiu (editor-in- chief, Jurnalul National, Bucharest), Serbia – Veran Matic (editor-in-chief, Radio TV B92, Belgrade), Montenegro – Zeljko Ivanovic (director, Vijesti daily, Podgorica), Kosovo – Haqif Mulliqi (RTV Kosovo, Pristina), Ukraine – Aleksey Soldatenko (Programmes Director, International Institute for Regional Media and Information, Kharkiv).
The SEEMO Ethical Committee includes: Danko Plevnik (commentator, Slobodna Dalmacija daily,Split – Karlovac).
The SEEMO Advisers are: Hari Stajner (former director Media Center, Belgrade), Boro Kontic (director, Media Centar, Sarajevo), Donika Shahini (OSCE Media Department, Pristina) and Mitja Mersol (former editor-in-chief, Delo daily, Ljubljana).
Vienna, 9 January 2009
The Ljubljana Recommendations on Public Broadcasting
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), as the result of its December Conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, organized with the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) – Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), and Radio Television Slovenia,
1. That state-controlled broadcasting should not be permitted; public funds should be devoted only to editorially independent public service broadcasting. Public service broadcasting should serve as a medium for the expression and debate of different views, and for the promotion of basic values; it should provide the society with information, education, culture and entertainment reflecting cultural (including minority), religious, national, sexual and language diversities. Public service broadcasting should promote social cohesion and respect the important role it has in the education of the population of a country. Public service broadcasters should refrain from making programming decisions on a purely commercial basis.
2. The development of editorially independent public service broadcasting; this should be guaranteed by law. It should be up to the editorial board of the broadcasters, not government or regulatory bodies nor political parties or commercial entities, to make decisions about what to broadcast. Manipulation of information under political influence is not acceptable. Public service broadcasters should be open, and not a propaganda service of one political, religious or other party. Every state should define and implement an appropriate legal, institutional and financial framework for the functioning of the public broadcasting service (PBS).
3. To support the right of journalists and programme producers in broadcasting organizations to exercise their profession safely and without interference. Therefore, the introduction of guidelines for journalistic practices in public broadcasting media would be appreciated. These guidelines should be developed by the journalists themselves, without interference from governments, political parties or other interest groups. Public service broadcasters should promote investigative journalism, and fight corruption, extremism, and nepotism.
4. All positions in public broadcasting media, including the leading positions, should be open to women and men, regardless of their political, sexual, religious and national affiliations. The procedure of recruitment should be through public tender.
5. That public broadcasting corporations be politically independent and financially viable. The financial security and economic independence of public service broadcasters are necessary for their proper operation and credibility in the society. It is the duty of national parliaments and governments to ensure stable, adequate and predictable financing, and if necessary to assure diversified funding, including – but not limited to – viewers’ and listeners’ fees, other forms of public funding as well as advertising to an extent which reflects an increasingly competitive environment. Funding of public service broadcasters must be transparent.
6. That all important annual reports, including annual financial reports of the PBS, as well as details about numbers of employees in the public broadcasting system, are transparent and open to the public and media.
7. The abolition of monopolies and, while not questioning the privileged position of public service broadcasters in the exercise of their tasks, of all forms of discrimination in broadcasting and frequency allocation, as well as the abolition of all unnecessary barriers for private electronic media.
8. Stronger cross-border cooperation between public broadcasting services in South East and Central Europe, stronger cooperation within the EBU, but also stronger bilateral cooperation between different public broadcasting systems, as well as good cooperation between public and private broadcasters. The dual system of public and private broadcasters is an essential element of democracy.
9. That public service broadcasters should be guaranteed licenses for digital broadcasting and multimedia operations. It is the duty of the PBS to introduce and use the new technologies and means of production and transmission via all possible platforms. Specialisation of channels is a chance and imperative for PBS – enabling the public to receive general and specialised programmes taking into account different interests.
10. The promotion of the PBS. The PBS has to communicate with public and civil society and not (only) with politicians and other elites. The PBS shall regularly examine its role through independent surveys and analyses.