Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Vecernje novosti Daily Violated the Code of Ethics of Journalists for Discrimination against Roma

The Appeals Commission of the Press Council has established that Vecernje novosti Daily has violated the Code of Ethics of Journalists of Serbia by publishing the article entitled “A Serious Crime Solved after 14 Years – An Elderly Woman Killed with a Screwdriver” as of 11 June 2015.

The Appeals Commission of the Press Council acted upon the complaint lodged by the Coalition against Discrimination, which consists of Praxis, Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, CHRIS Network Civil Rights Defenders, Gayten LGBT, Regional Centre for Minorities, Association of Students with Disabilities, Labris and Civil Rights Defenders. It is stated in the complaint that national affiliation of the defendant should not be mentioned, unless it is closely related to the type and nature of the committed criminal act. The plaintiffs also find that this text incites discrimination, hatred and violence towards the Roma and that such reporting directly contributes to creating and spreading hatred towards the members of the Roma national minority.

The Appeals Commission adopted the complaint and reached a decision that Vecernje novosti Daily violated the Code of Ethics of Journalists of Serbia, precisely Item 1 of the chapter IV according to which a journalist shall oppose all those who violate human rights or who advocate any kind of discrimination, hate speech or incitement to violence, and Item 4 of the Chapter V according to which a journalist must be aware of the danger of discrimination that can be spread by media and shall do everything to avoid discrimination. Vecernje novosti Daily was ordered to publish this decision of the Appeals Commission in the online edition, within seven days at latest.

It was stated in the explanation of the decision that according to the recent practice, the Appeals Commission concluded that the Code of Ethics of Journalists of Serbia clearly specifies that in reports on criminal acts, national, racial, religious, ideological and political affiliation, as well as sexual orientation, social and marital status of suspected persons or victims, are mentioned only if it is in direct relation to the nature of a criminal act. In this case, the national affiliation of the arrested is not connected to the nature of that criminal act and therefore there was no reason to note that they were Roma. Highlighting that fact incited, however, hate speech in the comments such as “Those were not the Roma, but Gypsies who kill Serbs and nobody can do anything to them”, which were published by Vecernje novosti Daily.

The Appeals Commission reminded that in April as of the same year it reached the same decision in almost the identical case, but unfortunately Vecernje novosti Daily again violates the provisions of the Code of Ethics of Journalists related to prohibition of discrimination, hate speech and incitement of violence.

More information about the procedure is available at the link.

Statement published in the following media: 
Danas Daily (FoNet)
                                                                 BalkanMagazin (FoNet)        

Read 23593 times
Tagged under
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action