The event, organised in collaboration with IFEX, will take place on Friday 2 July from 13:30 – 16:30 CET.
The language of the event is English.
In recent years, the issues of journalist safety and impunity for criminal offences against journalists have become critically important in Central and Southeast Europe. From online harassment, of women journalists in particular, to smear campaigns and threats, physical attacks and even attempted murders, journalists face challenges that, coupled with economic and technological pressures, render the profession difficult and often dangerous. Many of those offences are motivated by hate and often unfold as part of wider hate narratives. While those narratives tend to revolve around victims’ identity and/or affiliation, they nearly always serve identifiable political and/or business interests.
The prevalence of hate in public discourse, coupled with impunity for most hate crimes, undermines public trust in general, trust in the media in particular. In turn, for journalists to work in hateful environments means working in conditions of continuously compromised safety. Compromised safety negatively impacts all aspects of journalists’ work, even if they are not targeted personally.
With this event, organised in collaboration with IFEX, SEENPM member organisations aim to examine the impact of hate campaigns on the position of journalists and ways in which hate could be successfully countered.
The event is structured as three thematic panels.
The first panel, introduced by Bosnian media researcher Anida Sokol, will explore the relationship between hate campaigns and media trust; with situations in Turkey and Serbia discussed by Nazan Özcan, chief editor of Bianet, and Nataša Kovačev of Euronews , Serbia. The discussion will be moderated by Brankica Petković of Ljubljana’s Peace Institute.
The second panel, introduced by Jovana Gligorijević, assistant editor of Belgrade’s weekly Vreme, will see leading journalists from Kosovo and North Macedonia, freelancer Una Hajdari and Miroslava Byrns of Sloboden Pečat, discuss experiences of reporting in hateful environments. Elvira Jukić-Mujkić of Mediacentar Sarajevo will moderate the discussion.
The third panel will look at roles that different actors in the wider media landscape play, or should play, in confronting hate speech and dealing with its consequences. Federico Faloppa of the University of Reading will provide introductory remarks. Croatian lawyer Vesna Alaburić and Helena Mandić of Bosnia’s Communications Regulatory Agency will be on the panel to examine legal responses to hate speech and the role of media regulators in combating it.