Freedom of the Press - Bosnia-Herzegovina (2002)

Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 8
Political Influences: 19
Economic Pressures: 26
Total Score: 53

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 68
Religious Groups: n/a
Ethnic Groups: Bosnik (44 percent), Serb (31 percent), Croat (17 percent)
Capital: Sarjevo

A media law drafted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as a press council and a media ombudsman, provide structural support for numerous independent broadcast and print media. But corruption of the press persists as does dependence on foreign aid for its survival, an appeal to narrow ethnic constituencies, and occasional harassment by official institutions. There has been considerable privatization of the media but they remain strongly influenced by political parties. Government control over public television, the most influential media, has been reduced. There are public and private radio and TV stations. Some local radio stations carry independent news programming, but most limit their broadcasts to entertainment. Bosnia has an excess of media outlets for a country its size, but they are mainly established on the basis of party or ethnic interests. International funding has helped reduce the dominance of biased state or party-controlled media outlets. Defamation charges, long used to impede journalistic freedom, have ended with passage of a new legal framework and a change in government.

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