The Day of Journalists to be a reason for pride, not worry

On the occasion of 23 January – The Day of Journalists of Montenegro, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congrats to all journalists in Montenegro to their day with the hope that their safety will not be questioned, as well as they will get a better economical position very soon. Media freedom is the foundation of every democratic society, thus without journalists who are reporting without their lives and economy being endangered, there is no progress for the whole community.

In the challenges that Montenegrin society is facing, the role of the journalists is to stay committed to their profession, no matter who has the levers of power. Professional integrity of journalists is mirrored in objective reporting, which contributes to enlightening of the process and quality of making decisions concerning the public interest, then an affirmation of human rights and freedom, fight against corruption and organised crime, as well as the construction of political culture in which the public discourse will be based on facts. The journalists have to supress any internal or external manipulation of different interest groups, by credible reporting and to take care of public interest, instead of a private one.

In the time of disinformations and fake news, the journalist is the key regulator of the content which is presented to the public. Even the best self-regulatory and regulatory bodies are not strong enough mechanisms unless there are no journalists with integrity who are ready to protect the dignity of their professions.

CCE expects the new Government to put within its priorities work on the improvement of journalists’ position. That includes fast and efficient investigations of attacks on journalists, starting from the case of Dusko Jovanović, editor – in – chief of „Dan“, which is still unresolved. Also, ensuring consistent implementation of the spirit and the letter of the Media Law and assumption making for independent Public Service RTCG freed of inappropriate political-party influence.

Through cooperation with journalists, CCE will continue to support the democratisation process in Montenegro, with the hope to congratulate The Day of Journalists of Montenegro without reminding them of their poor position in society.

Damir NIKOČEVIĆ, Development Coordinator