Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congratulates International Press Freedom Day (3 May) to all journalists, as well as to the media, and encourages them to persist in their mission in which they face every-day threats to their independence, professionalism, and sometimes, unfortunately, even their security.
Freedom of the media must be indefeasible and represents a base for citizens to be fully and objectively informed about matters of public concern. Nevertheless, we are witnesses that journalists and reporters are unprotected and often subject to attack. Unsolved attacks and murders of journalists are warning to the state institutions, which need to fully process all cases of endangered safety, but also to individuals who often neglect the importance of seventh power representatives’ role in the society.
CCE calls upon the media owners to, to the extent possible, improve the professional and economic status of journalists, which still isn’t at the appropriate level. In this context, CCE welcomes the recent union media organizing that aims to preserve their personal integrity.
Professional courage, responsibility for public word, respect for journalistic codes of ethics are all of great importance for the development of media freedom in Montenegro. Therefore, it is equally important that the very media community constructs self-regulatory mechanisms, which will make it more quality, more professional and more focused on the public interest.
In addition, CCE studies indicate discriminatory attitude of the Government towards critically oriented media, when it comes to investments from the budget, which needs to be changed. State institutions and policy makers must prove their democratic capacity through openness to diverse and critical attitudes, and budget spending on the basis of clear and criteria comprehensible to all, such as trust in the media, assessment of the readership / viewership and price list of advertising space in comparison to the previous two categories.
CCE remains a partner to all media taking into account that without independent journalists and media it is impossible to quality democratize and europeanize the Montenegrin society.
Damir Nikočević, PR/Programme Associate