Should you wish to file a complaint about media content, you can find information on regulators and self-regulators and their complaint mechanisms in this section.
Regulator: Independent Media Commission
Established in 2005, the Independent Media Commission (IMC) is the body responsible for the regulation, management and oversight of the broadcasting frequency spectrum in the Republic of Kosovo. With Article 141 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo IMC is founded as an independent body. IMC licenses public and private broadcasters, establishes and implements policy and regulates broadcasting rights, obligations and responsibilities of individuals and entities who provide audio and audiovisual media services. The responsibility of the IMC is to promote and maintain a fair and open system for the licensing and regulation of audiovisual media services and broadcasting frequency spectrum management in accordance with the best international standards.
Moreover, IMC monitors Kosovo media broadcasts and may initiate its own ex officio complaints if it believes any of its regulations has been violated. However, the IMC mainly depends on the public to bring problems to its attention by filing their own complaints. Any individual or organization may file a complaint, and once a complaint is formally filed, the legal procedure is the same regardless of whether it was filed by a private citizen or ex officio. The complaints can be filed either via phone, fax, e-mail, or a visit to IMC in person. The complaint form and explanations on the procedure of filing a complaint can be found in this link.
Once the preliminary evidence has been assembled, the IMC legal division will review the complaint to determine if the IMC Law or any of its regulations have been violated and will make recommendations to the IMC Council. If the IMC concludes a regulation has been violated, it will first seek to work out a remedy or settlement that satisfies both the media and the person or organization who filed the complaint, without the need for formal sanctions. Potential remedies include: a clarification or correction from the media; a Right of Reply granted to the complaining citizen; a public apology from the media.
IMC regulations require broadcasters to keep recordings of all their programming for 21 days, unless otherwise requested by the IMC. It is important for the complaint to reach IMC in time for them to process it before 21 days have passed since any broadcast a person or organization refers to. If it arrives too late, the documentation may already have been dropped from the broadcaster’s archive and the case will be difficult to pursue.
Self-regulator: Press Council of Kosovo
Press Council of Kosovo is a self-regulatory body founded in 2005 for and by the print media sector in Kosovo. Its mission is based on the principles and values of the Press Code of Kosovo. PCK has 27 regular members from newspapers and news agencies, and three independent members. The Press Council bodies consist of the Council’s Assembly of Members and the Secretariat. The Assembly consists of the affiliated media represented by editors-in-chief or their delegates, and the three independent members who act as chairperson and deputy chairpersons.
Freedom of speech, the right of citizens to be duly and completely informed and the respect for the Press Code of Kosovo are the foundations on which the Press Council is founded. The aim of Press Council of Kosovo is to protect the citizens from false information and journalists from baseless complaints. Based on this aim, PCK also examines citizens’ complaints about perceived breaches of Press Code of Kosovo. The Council’s Assembly acts as the complaints commission. The decisions by PCK regarding complaints are published on their website on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the Council only sanctions any breaches of its code of conduct with naming and shaming as it has no binding authority.
Citizens can access information on the procedure of filing a complaint and actually file a complaint following this link.