New Head of Bosnian TV Regulator Criticised for War Crime Coverage

The appointment last month of Drasko Milinovic to head the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sparked criticism because of his controversial record in charge of RTRS, the public broadcaster in Bosnia's Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity.

The Communications Regulatory Agency fined RTRS more than 260,000 Bosnian marks (around 132,000 euros) for 13 breaches during Milinovic's five-year tenure in charge from 2014 to 2019, including three fines for reports on subjects linked to war crimes.

The broadcaster and Milinovic himself were sanctioned for misleading reports on the Tuzla Gate massacre of dozens of young people by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995, and about Bosniak campaigner Bakira Hasecic of the Women - Victims of War association, who RTRS alleged was "well known for her anti-Serb stance and hate speech".

Hasecic said that Milinovic should not have been appointed because of his past record.

"Knowing what has happened up until now and the news we have watched, he will surely not be able to work [objectively]," she said.

Mehmed Halilovic, a former journalist and the ombudsman for the media in the country's Federation entity, said the appointment of Milinovic would prevent the Communications Regulatory Agency from doing its job properly.

Halilovic said that this would lead to "the deterioration of the political and media scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina", allowing the proliferation of hate speech and the political misuse of the media.

"That is completely unacceptable, because this is a policy of destruction and of making state institutions pointless, and it is also an insult to common sense," he added.

In the past, Milinovic has held senior positions in the offices of the president and...

Continue reading on: