International Media Group to Receive Complaints of Inciting Hatred

Дата: 07 July 2015
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A special international working group is being set up to deal with complaints that cannot be addressed on the national level because of the risk of accusations of “lack of patriotism”.

As reported by the news portal Media Sapiens, a network of media self-regulation bodies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine agreed to establish a working group that will deal with complaints relating to the incitement of national hatred and the dissemination of hate speech. The agreement was reached at the previous meeting held by network in Brussels in the autumn of 2014.

The decision to create the group was made in Tbilisi at the Regional Meeting of Self-regulatory Bodies of Journalists and it will be organized within the framework of the EU/CoE Joint Project “Promote Professional and Responsible Journalism by Supporting Regional Networks of Self-regulatory Bodies.”

The network, as a supranational body, will try to objectively consider complaints that are difficult or impossible to consider at the national level because of the risk of accusations of “lack of patriotism.” Additionally, it will prepare recommendations for the media on how to resist the propaganda that leads to the incitement of ethnic or other forms of hatred.

“Within a month, we will prepare the basic principles according to which we will review complaints and appeals. After their approval by the national self-regulatory organizations (In Ukraine it is the Commission on Journalism Ethics), the group will begin work. This will allow us to objectively assess the materials of those journalists and media who are now subjected to harsh criticism from politicians, governments, or certain social groups. The main thing is to protect the professional standards and honest work of journalists,” said the representative of the Commission on Journalism Ethics, Sergiy Guz.

Earlier this year, the director of the Media Law Institute, Taras Shevchenko, commented on the National Council’s warning to the television channel Inter because of their broadcast of a Russian New Year program which included singers who had previously shown support for the “DNR” and “LNR.” He noted that the warning to Inter should have been made a lot earlier, and that the case should have been made against the Russian media on the grounds of inciting hatred.

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