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The role of the media in the fight against violent extremism

The role of the media in the fight against violent extremism
Sarajevo, April 6, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Representatives of BiH media, OSCE and BiH Ministry of security held on Wednesday a conference named “Role of media in fight against violent extremism”, which took place in the city of Konjic.

Head of OSCE Mission in BiH, Jonathan Moore, said to the media that he is very happy to host an event like this, because violent extremism represents threat and the challenge for modern society and that media play key role in this battle.

"Across BiH, where OSCE Mission is very active, in cooperation with BiH Ministry of security, we are doing our best to fight extremism. But the voice of media is very influential, because the media have a responsibility in their relation with the public and people who are seeking as much information as they can receive about actual situation, possible threats, conditions and security situations in the state", ambassador Moore stressed.

He added that it is very good to see the cooperation and partnership with the media in this fight. Secretary General of Atlantic Initiative in BiH, Vlado Azinovic, said that media have great responsibility to discourage the young population to do something which can be defined as violent extremism, adding that the media are one of the important tools we have in this fight but that they are not enough used.

"We often forget that there is no traditional separation between electronic or printed media, radio and TV and newspaper. Today we have merged of all of these types of media in one  platform, “news portals”, which contain video, audio and textual news. Also we often forget that citizens are not the typical consumers of the news broadcasts, but they, thanks to social networks and new technologies, can produce news and share them with other, said Azinovic.

He added that it is questionable how the society, as it is in BiH, can be efficient in the job of discouragement of youth to support radical ideas and violent extremism.

In the opening speech on the conference, ambassador Moore said that extremism is not a new phenomenon but that it is in constant development. That is why it must be treated by governments on all levels in the state and all areas of society.

"The first role of media is responsible and professional reporting on questions about this issues. It is necessary to quote the facts in the manner which will discourage hate, extremism and violence, but promote united fight against all kinds of extremism", Moore said.

He added that reporters must realise how big is their responsibility and that they must do everything to decrease the terrorist propaganda and decrease the number of sensationalist information.

(Photo: FENA)

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