Media in Montenegro – between the stranglehold of power and the struggle for the profession

About publication

Author: Duško Vuković

Co-author: Daliborka Uljarević

Publishing year: 2020

The most important factors at the root of the long-lasting and serious problems in Montenegrin media are the persistent attempts of the authorities to put media under their control. Overall, we can observe serious problems arising out of all three forms of censorship - hard, soft and self-censorship, compounded by deficiencies in the existing framework and practice of self-regulation and public regulation, and by political ‘subjugation’ of public broadcaster RTCG.

Hard censorship is the most measurable and oldest form of pressure. It includes attacks on journalists and media property. The assassination of the co-owner, CEO and Editor-in-chief of daily Dan, Duško Jovanović, was the beginning, according to official data, of a series of 92 attacks on journalists and media property in Montenegro between 2004 and the end of 2019. Most of these cases were never properly closed. Especially disturbing were the attacks in 2018 on Olivera Lakić from daily Vijesti and in 2007 on Tufik Softić from weekly Monitor. This shows that the institutions in charge work neither responsibly nor professionally, mostly due to political constraints, given that most of these attacks were directed at journalists and media with a critical attitude towards the ruling party and its associates. This is why Montenegro is considered an unsafe country for journalists and media determined to tackle the most sensitive issues of government’s accountability, corruption and organized crime.

This publication has been supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.