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Role of media in times of global uncertainties debated at XVI South East Europe Media Forum in Sarajevo

More than 250 participants attended the XVI South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 16-17 November 2022 under the title “The role of media in times of global uncertainties”.

Journalists, media experts, politicians, representatives of international organisations and academia debated topical issues such as wartime journalism, investigative journalism, cross-border cooperation, responsibility of media in times of crisis. Certainly, the war in Ukraine was at the core of various contributions, especially referring to media freedom and freedom of expression, quality journalism, information manipulation and disinformation, fake news, propaganda, in-the-field journalism, access to information, journalists’ safety. The participation of various journalists who covered the Balkans war in the 1990s offered the opportunity to highlight similarities and differences with nowadays war reporting in a remarkable exchange of experiences and practices. 

In her opening speech, CEI Deputy Secretary General Nina Kodelja highlighted that

“the CEI commitment to support the media of the region is in line with our mission: promoting European integration and sustainable development through regional cooperation. It is important to stimulate a continuous debate and awareness raising on freedom of expression and media freedom”.

Welcome speeches were also delivered by Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General; Hendrik Sitting, Head of KAS Media Programme SEE; Radka Betcheva, Head of Member Relations CEE, EBU; and Darja Softić Kadenić, Minister of Justice and Administration for Canton Sarajevo.

CEI Deputy Secretary General Ivana Holoubková, in her closing remarks, expressed appreciation for the remarkable two-day debate and pointed out that

“in these times of conflict caused by the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the role of media is ever more crucial to safeguard democratic developments in all our countries”.

During the Forum, the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2022 was presented by CEI Senior Executive Officer Barbara Fabro to Anna Babinets from Ukraine for her long-lasting experience and commitment in investigative reporting as well as for her current engagement in providing evidence of war crimes against Ukrainian civilians. Babinets participated online and gave some highlights on the media situation in Ukraine from her viewpoint, the impact of the war on her work and, more in general, on the everyday life.

SEEMF 2023 is envisaged to take place in Moldova.

The Annual Forum is organised by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), in partnership with the KAS Media Program South East Europe and the Central European Initiative, with the support of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the South East and Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO), the International Institute – International Media Center (II-IMC) and the International Academy.  

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