In organization of Civic Alliance, a round table titled “Challenges of Professional Journalism” took place today at the Hotel “Podgorica”. The event was organized as the last activity within the project of CA “Ethical and Professional Journalism for Students”, which was supported by the USA Embassy in Montenegro.
The round table was opened by Tamara Srzentić, Minister of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media. In her address to the participants, Ms Srzentić said that this was a topic that was directly related to the situation of the media sector in Montenegro and to which, as a state, we have to pay the greatest possible attention.
She emphasized that the development and improvement of conditions for the work of media are an area to which she is especially dedicated, with the goal of conducting a continuous type of interaction.
On behalf of Civic Alliance, the program director Milan Radović addressed the participants and pointed out that in addition to reforms of the legislation and improvement of capacities of institutions and media, we should work on improving the quality of education of young journalists, with special emphasis on practical work and work with experienced journalists.
Nicole Gallagher, Head of the Media and Culture Department at the USA Embassy in Montenegro, said that Montenegrin society needs brave, young and educated journalists, and that journalists need to be safe and do their job without fear.
She pointed out on a large number of cases of attacks on journalists that have remained unsolved, that the Embassy condemned all attacks and demanded that the attackers should be prosecuted.
The first panel of the round table was dedicated to the reforms of the media legal and strategic framework, the working conditions of journalists and respect of ethical and professional reporting. Marijana Camović Veličković, President of the Media Trade Union, pointed out the circumstances of work of journalists and the importance of a dialogue about the working conditions of journalists, in order to impact on the improvement of media freedom in Montenegro.
On behalf of the Council of Europe office, the participants were addressed by the CoE project manager, Boris Ristović, who said that the media legal framework is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, which would improve the environment for further reforms in terms of freedom of expression and protection of journalists.
According to Milan Žugić, editor in chief of the MINA News agency, establishing of a single self-regulatory body would greatly contribute to the media in Montenegro to be better and more professional.
The second panel was dedicated to the education of journalists. Panelists doc.dr Branko Bošković, professor at the University Donja Gorica and Vesna Rajković Nenadić from the Media Institute, pointed out the importance of formal and informal education of journalists. Mr Bošković said that formal education should show that professional journalists can rise above social media publishing, adding that the media play a major role in building the confidence between citizens and institutions. Ms. Rajković Nenadić said that it is important to build the personal integrity of journalists through non-formal education, in addition to practical skills that are not developed at the faculty.
Young journalists and participants in the CA project, Nikola Saveljić and Sandra Milićević, spoke about their participation in the project on ethical and professional reporting for students as a valuable experience, which enabled them to gain more practical knowledge and useful advices received from mentors – journalists of prominent media in Montenegro.