BH Journalists: Regulatory Agency must reconsider draconian fine for Face TV

NEWS 06.02.2023 13:51

The BH Journalists Association said that the “draconian” fine of 15,000 Bosnian Marks that the BiH’s Communications Regulatory Agency (RAK) imposed against Face Television in Sarajevo represents an “attempt to censor and silence media that critically review the decisions” of the agency and its director, Drasko Milinovic.

The agency’s website published the decision to fine Face TV over non-compliance with “generally accepted standards of decency in program content”.


The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association said that Face Television was sanctioned with a “disproportionately high fine” because the editor Senad Hadzifejzovic used an expletive in one of his shows, commenting on an earlier procedure initiated by the RAK against his channel.

“The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association emphasizes that the use of swear words and inappropriate vocabulary in media content cannot and should not be justified, especially in cases where TV programs are broadcast before 10 p.m. At the same time, BH Journalists reminds that, in order to protect freedom of expression and political debate on issues of public importance, the European Court of Human Rights from Strasbourg took the position that the task of the media is not only to write about positive decisions and events, but can also “shock, offend and upset” with their content if there are no other ways to draw attention to issues of public importance”, the association said.

It said that “it is quite clear that director Milinovic was looking for reasons for personal revenge against Face TV and its owner and editor,” arguing that other media outlets that have committed much more serious violations of the Code on Audiovisual Media Services, and which have been given much milder sanctions compared to Face TV.

The BH Journalists publicly called on the RAK Council to urgently and thoroughly analyze the decision and the previous actions and statements of director Milinovic regarding Face television and Hadzifejzovic.

“It is inadmissible for the regulatory body, and especially the general director of RAK, to use their powers to “discipline” those media whose reporting they don’t like or is not in accordance with their personal views and beliefs. We demand from the RAK Council to start the procedure without delay and inform the public about the results of their analysis as soon as possible”, the BH Journalists statements said.


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