Improving Media Reporting on Terrorism and Violent Extremism

31/08/2018

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Mr Moez Chakchouk, will participate in the OSCE Media and Terrorism conference organized on 1 and 2 September 2018 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

As part of UNESCO and the OSCE’s ongoing efforts in this area, the event will gather local and international journalists and media professionals to discuss the latest trends, issues and professional standards on reporting about terrorism and violent extremism online, in print and electronic media. The main goal of the conference is to develop the capacity of journalists to prevent the unintentional fostering of hate and division in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

The Bosnian version of the UNESCO publicationTerrorism and the Media: a Handbook for Journalists will also be launched. The handbook, prepared by international expert Jean-Paul Marthoz, aims to raise journalists’ awareness of the need to exercise caution and examine carefully who they quote, what messages they relay and how they contextualize their information, despite the pressures to win readers, viewers and listeners.

With several examples taken from recent events, the handbook also addresses issues relating to the way journalists report on the victims of terror, handle rumors, report on the authorities’ investigations, conduct interviews with terrorists and report on their trials. The publication is already available in English and French. Spanish and Arabic will be on-line soon.

The Assistant Director-General's visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina is an opportunity to reinforce UNESCO’s strategic partnership with the OSCE. It will also strengthen the fruitful relationship with partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably in the context of the joint UNESCO and European Commission project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey, aimed at reinforcing media accountability mechanisms and enabling citizen’s media and information literacy.