Harsh comments directed towards journalists by politicians have drawn criticism in recent weeks. In your opinion, are journalists in BiH given enough space to do their job? Is there anything that the media houses should improve?

Rasim Ibrahimagić,  Živinice

Journalists are not the ones that need to improve anything. Politicians, some of whom unfortunately not only do not respect the journalistic profession, but do not even conform to basic codes of decent behaviour. The Communications Regulatory Agency, the Association of Journalists and other institutions of the state should stand by the profession and protect them for such attacks.

Miroslav Marojević,  Brčko

Being a journalist means to carry the same burden of responsibility and risk as any other citizen. Today, this burden may be greater than ever. The modern development of information and communication technologies has certainly contributed to strengthening free speech and enable more far-reaching communication than ever before, but seem also to have given rise to new boundaries that appear rigid and less liberal. On the other hand, the journalist, and the rest of us, must take into account that freedom of speech means a certain level of responsibility both in respect of oneself and towards the community we are part of. It is beyond question that journalists must have complete freedom of speech and action. However, we must not allow the pretext of freedom of speech to turn journalists into untouchable totems of modern times.

Aleksandar Brezar, Sarajevo

The Bosnian media landscape has been dominated by private owners for a while, who in turn have a tendency to flirt with various political factions or openly participate in politics to their own ends. A prime example of this conflict of interest can be seen in the fact that one of the main print media outlets in BiH is owned by the same person who also held a very high position at the highest level of government. The public media houses are, too, either co-opted by the politicians and political parties through editorial and management appointments of only those they have vetted, or not given enough room to manoeuvre outside of being a mere news service. Add to that the inevitable loss of status of journalism as a trade, and what you have is an extremely precarious situation in terms of politicians’ influence. Coupled with inexcusably low wages and almost non-existent job security, the recent comments by politicians are only the icing on the cake, making the bravery of the few who at this point might as well be labelled as the 21st century Don Quixote’s even more significant and elementary if our journalism is ever to recover. The only way out of this rather grim situation would require a lot of courage and determination from the heads of the media houses, who would have to first sever their ties to those in power, and then make sure that their journalists are given both the conditions and the liberty to do their jobs according to the highest standards of the trade.