09/21/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/21/2023 09:52
Prishtinë/Priština, 21 September 2023 -The OSCE Mission published today a set of guidelines for reporting on courts to assist journalists in Kosovo in their work and contribute to responsible and informed journalism. The guidelines offer comprehensive support for journalists navigating the Kosovo court system and emphasize ethical and legal considerations in reporting on the judiciary.
The document covers three key areas: court reporting, privacy and protection standards, and legal and normative frameworks. The guidelines also include quick-reference dos and don'ts, highlighting the importance of maintaining ethical standards, respecting privacy, and upholding the presumption of innocence.
"Journalists reporting on legal proceedings in any democratic society have a duty and responsibility to provide accurate information, while at the same time upholding and respecting the integrity of the judicial system," said Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
"It is our sincere hope that these Guidelines will contribute to freedom of expression being safeguarded and justice being served, both inside and outside the courtroom," he added.
The document urges journalists to exercise caution when reporting on minors and vulnerable adults, obtaining consent and protecting identities when necessary. It also emphasizes the significance of adhering to codes of conduct and self-regulatory tools, such as the Independent Media Commission's Code of Ethics for Media Service Providers and the Press Council of Kosovo's Press Code.
As follow-up, the OSCE Mission will distribute the guidelines in various mock trial workshops to students of law and journalism in November.
The OSCE Mission has been supporting the development of free and independent media since 1999, as part of its mandate to support human rights protection and promotion, democratization and public safety sector development
The guidelines are available here: https://www.osce.org/mission-in-kosovo/553288