Without free media market there can be no media freedom

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foto: PR Centar

Podgorica, (MINA) – Montenegro does not have a free media market and therefore it can have no media freedom, President of the Center for Investigative Journalism Milka Tadic Mijovic has stated, adding that there is no wonder that the country is declining on the media freedom lists of the most relevant global organizations.

She argues that the key dividing line in Montenegro, which does not only apply to media, is between those who are professional and those who are not.

“Between those who are working in public interest and those who are working to present the interests of the alienated elite as public interest and to cover up the wrongdoings by the key decision makers. That has been the dividing line since the 1990s and I’m afraid it will remain so for a very long time,” Tadic Mijovic said in an interview to Mina.

According to her, the media outlets who are not controlled by the ruling structures are facing a constant pressure, not only in the form of attacks and campaigns, but also through economic difficulties.

Tadic Mijovic claims that continuous surveys done by CGO reveal that most of the money from state advertising goes to the media who are apologetic of the government, while Dan and Vijesti, as the most influential dailies, receive virtually no income from state advertising.

She also argues that many private companies avoid placing advertisements with the media that have distanced themselves from the ruling establishment, as business people fear that it might compromise their business interests.

According to her, the Journalists’ Code of Ethics is being violated on a daily basis.

Tadic Mijovic remarked that some of the greatest democracies do not have a single self-regulatory body, adding that nobody sees that as a problem.

“A single self-regulatory body does not necessarily need to lead to improved media standards or professional and ethical journalism. We did have one self-regulatory body for a while and where things better back then? Some of the most drastic violations of the Code took place despite the single self-regulatory body,” she noted, adding that it is important for all media to establish their self-regulation systems, while the matter of organization is less important.

This text is produced with the financial support of the European Union, through the project of Dealing with Ethics and Fake News, reference number IPA2018/397-252. The content is the exclusive responsibility of the Mina news agency and does not necessarily reflect the positions of the EU. The text may be distributed provided that its source is duly credited.

 

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