On the occassion of upcoming 23 January – The Day of Journalists of Montenegro, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congratulates to all journalists in Montenegro for their persistance to contribute to the fight against corruption, affirmation of human rights and freedoms, as well shaping of democratic political culture, regardless of challenging time for their profession. Media freedoms are in the foundaton of every open society, and journalists are key in democratic changes.
In social environment of frequent clashes between the concept of freedom and the attempts of its limitation, it is especiallly important that journalists resist all forms of censorship or self-censorship. The goal of journalists must be strengthening of the credibility of their profession through their resistance to either external or internal manipulations exercised by different interest groups.
It is important to underline that journalists are still strugling to improve their employment status and working conditions, which are far below the level that this profession deserves.
Furthermore, in the time of excessive media manipulations, disinformation, fake news, sensationalism and competition for clicks, it is essential role of journalists to act in accordance with code of ethics. In this manner, they are the best defense of media professionalism.
The Government of Montenegro must do a lot more to improve the position of journalists, as well as their protection by respecting standards and best practices set by the EU member states. This includes also unloosening of media market which suffers from improper influences of the authorities, fast and efficient investigations of attacks on journalists, but also systemic approach to the issues such as fake news through fostering of media literacy.
The credibility of the profession is based on independent, objective, accurate and timely reporting. Freedom of expression is inalienable and fundamental part of the development of professional standards and critical stance of media towards various actors and phenomenons. Hence, the CCE will keep on investing efforts in building a society in which the Day of Journalists will be an occassion for expressing satisfaction and not concern.
Damir NIKOČEVIĆ, Development Coordinator