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Under the auspices of the Ombudsperson a round table has been held with the theme “Reflection over the Role of the Press on Dynamics of Social Processes”

With the intention to mark the World Press Freedom Day, under Ombudsperson’ organizing, a round table discussion has been held with the theme “Reflection over the Role of the Press on Dynamics of Social Processes”.

Discussions on this roundtable reiterated the importance that media has in democracy functioning of a society. Respect of freedom of expression, press freedom and access to public documents, as constitutionally and legally guaranteed rights, should be further developed and improve through their practical implementation, was pointed out by participants of this roundtable.

Attacks, intimidations addressed towards journalists as well as lack of safe environment in practicing journalist profession; the apathy and inaction of the judicial system in defending journalists in fulfillment of their mission; political interference in the work of media; non-transparency exposed by public institutions, difficulties in obtaining information and access to public documents; lack of in charge persons for communication in these institutions; misappropriation of the position of holders of public institutions, including judiciary and prosecution towards journalists in exercising of their profession; working conditions; lack of working contracts for journalists; media financial problems etc. present difficulties that journalists and media face today in Kosovo, was stressed among others in this roundtable.

In order to establish a favorable environment for respect of the press freedom and freedom of expression, as essential in respect of rights and freedoms generally guaranteed, some recommendations derived , through which it has been required:

• Practical implementation of laws and constitutional guarantees;

• Assaults and threats addressed to journalists to be handled appropriately and with due regard by responsible institutions, as actions unacceptable which hinder the core of freedom of expression and freedom of media;

• Judicial system to give due consideration to cases of assaults and intimidations addressed to journalists, not solely as accomplishment of constitutional and legal liabilities, but at the same time as prevention of such case repeating as well as in the function of establishing a safe environment to exercise profession of a journalist;

• The necessity of public institutions’ transparency, in the function of accountability and responsibility that holders of public functions have;

• The need that public institutions / public authorities appoint spokespersons/ officials in charge of communication, in disposal all the time in providing information on journalists and media requests, on topics that they deal with;

• The necessity of truthful commitment of the Labor Inspectorate towards ensuring appropriate working conditions for journalist;

The round table ended its session with the idea of a future joint meeting, where actions undertaken by Judiciary regarding journalists' attacks and intimidations, will be discussed.

* The Ombudsperson highly evaluates the presence and contribution provided from each participant of this roundtable organized on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day and in the function of cooperation and interaction with key actors in exercising of freedom of expression, as essential to democracy.
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