Bosnia and Herzegovina Political Orientation
Government Type: Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Leader(s): Šefik Džaferović, Željko Komšić, and Milorad Dodik. A three-person collective presidency comprising one Bosniak, Croat, and Serb member who takes turns serving eight months each.
Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Currently, Željko Komšić
Political Party: The Democratic Front
Political Position: Center-Left
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 58.72 (Moderate Freedom)
World Press Freedom Rank: Bosnia and Herzegovina 64/180
In 2023, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked 64/180 on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. The media landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina is complex due to the country’s ethnic and administrative structure. The media is divided along ethnic lines, and political pressures heavily influence the media outlets.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Historical background: it should be noted that the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, marking the end of the Cold War, led to geopolitical shifts and a power vacuum in Eastern Europe, indirectly contributing to the breakup of Yugoslavia. The Dayton Agreement, signed after Yugoslavia’s disintegration and the Bosnian War, recognized Bosnia’s sovereignty, creating a unified nation with two entities: the Bosnian Serb Republic, mainly Serbs, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly Bosniaks and Croats.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s media, including public and private outlets, is divided into three segments serving Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. Major networks are BHRT, RTVFBiH, and RTRS, with the latter two controlled by ruling political parties, as reported by the BBC. Notable media outlets include Dailies like Oslobodjenje and Dnevni Avaz, TV stations like Radio-Television Republika Srpska (RTRS) and OBN, and commercial networks like O Kanal and Al-Jazeera Balkans. It is reported that Radio-Television Republika Srpska (RTRS) favors the SNSD party.
The media sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks transparency in ownership. For instance, Dnevni Avaz, previously owned by politician party leader Fahrudin Radončić, doesn’t clearly state this on its About page.
Reporters Without Borders highlights that Bosnia’s media, constrained by a small market and limited funding, often avoids critical journalism due to ethnic divisions and competition from neighboring countries. Also, Journalists often resort to self-censorship due to political pressures and ethnic divisions.
In conclusion, the tight-knit relationship between media, politics, and business leads to self-censorship among journalists. Due to this dependence on political and economic powerhouses, many outlets avoid critical journalism.
Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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