Media in Montenegro from the perspective of citizens and journalists

About publication

Authors: Damir Nikočević, Vuk Čađenović, Damir Suljević

Publishing year: 2021

The emergence of a multi-party system in Montenegro was simultaneously accompanied by the development of the media scene through the formation of the first private media. This parallel would have no significance in societies with developed democratic and institutional mechanisms, but it does in a society where political and media intertwining is intense. The fourth branch of government, as the media are often informally called, has the role of guardian of the public interest. In this context, the trust of citizens is crucial for the media that aspire to be the serious actors.

Within the general decline of journalistic standards, followed by ratings based on reality television programmes in which violence and light entertainment dominate, trust is what the media must strive for. In the harsh struggle for survival, in which marketing income often prevails over objective, professional and independent journalism, the fundamental functions of serious media such as informative, control and educational are easily forgotten.

Therefore, it is not surprising that public opinion findings indicate that the vast majority of citizens (87.2%) consider that the media in Montenegro are willing or somewhat willing to publish sensational information that are not verified at all or insufficiently verified to increase circulation and ratings. At the same time, research of citizens’ perceptions of the media indicates that almost half of them consider that media in Montenegro are not impartial, and almost half of them think that media use facts mixed with rumours.

Publication is part of the project “Media for Me!”, implemented by the CCE with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and the Balkan Trust for Democracy funded by German Marshall Fund of the United States (BTD).