Protector of Citizens, Mr. Zoran Pašalić, called today for the formation of a single database on all types of attacks on journalists, which, in addition to verbal and physical attacks, would also contain parameters that determine all types of economic pressures to which the representatives of this profession are exposed in performing their work.

“Special attention should be given to economic pressures which the journalists have been daily exposed to, and which have been critical for their work performance. The pressures challenge everyday life and work of journalists, their survival in the newsroom, and in the long run the survival of this profession.” Mr. Pašalić said following the meeting of the Working Group for the development of an action plan for the implementation of the Media Strategy.

At the meeting organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information, Mr. Pašalić advocated that a single database should be set up, which would also include economic pressures, and added that, according to the records of complaints received by the Institution of the Protector of Citizens, most problems were caused by economic status and position.

The Protector of Citizens accentuated that this institution had confidence in the existing databases on attacks on journalists kept by professional associations, but that their unmatched data posed a concern.

“In every profession, there are subjective viewpoints regarding the parameters and ways which should be used when something needs to be determined. The most objective parameters and criteria can be provided by an independent body and therefore the Protector of Citizens stands ready to provide it, if all journalist associations agree.” Mr. Pašalić stated at the meeting.

Mr. Pašalić added that in order to achieve that, it was important to what extent journalists associations would accept that someone independent and without a subjective viewpoint defined and classified by groups what journalists' associations and prosecutor's offices had recorded, the data which had most often been divergent.

“A consensus should be reached that this platform brings together existing databases and everything that has not been recorded so far. The institution of the Protector of Citizens is ready to technically fully support the formation of such a base. This requires the consensus of all associations and journalists who would be involved in the work of this platform”, the Protector of Citizens stated.

He announced that in the near future, based on the data on attacks on journalists at its disposal, the Institution of the Protector of Citizens would create a systematized database of what should be recorded and that with the consent of all journalists' associations, the already recorded pressures and attacks on journalists, as well as the data of the public prosecutor's office, would be included in it.

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