Media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina operate within an impoverished, oversaturated and captured market, under unfavorable political and economic conditions. The political climate is marked by divisive rhetoric and continuous disputes among ethno-national political elites. Accordingly, most media outlets are divided along ethno-national and political party lines.
The majority of media organizations lack the revenue and capacity necessary for independent and professional journalism and must compete for their market share. Many are affiliated with local political parties and business circles, receiving funds through subsidies and grants from public budgets that facilitate political meddling in editorial affairs.
While laws and regulations safeguarding the freedom of expression and access to information exit, their implementation has proved challenging. In recent years, increasingly regressive legal measures with considerable potential to curb media freedom in the country have been adopted, with more such measures planned for adoption in the near future. Moreover, there are no laws regulating media ownership transparency or limiting the monopolization of the media market. The allocation of public funds to the media is largely non-transparent and arbitrary, without precise criteria and evaluations by expert commissions.
Although television remains the primary source of information for the general public, online media and social networks are more popular among younger generations, a trend which impacts the broader media landscape in terms of both production and quality.