Montenegro: EFJ demands the immediate acquittal of Jovo Martinovic

On January 15, a court in Montenegro sentenced the independent journalist Jovo Martinovic to 18 months in jail. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the undersigned partner organisations condemn the conviction of independent journalist Jovo Martinovic. The court sentenced Martinovic to 18 months in jail. His trial continued in the High Court of Podgorica, Montenegro, after he was charged by the Special Prosecution Office for A) the criminal act of creating a criminal organisation and B) the criminal act of unauthorised production, possession and traffic of narcotics. The judge in her verdict stated that he…

Montenegro: critical working conditions in digital media

The Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) presented a few days ago its analysis on the working conditions in digital media in the country, which shows that the average salary of employees at Montenegrin portals is significantly lower than in traditional media. According to the research’s findings, the average salary for a journalist in these media outlets is only 362 euros per month, or rather 38% lower than the salary earned by people working in traditional media (around 500 euros) and 40% lower than the average salary at the state level (510 euros). The research, called “New Media – Old Problems”, covered…

Council of Europe: #EndImpunity for crimes against journalists

Today, marking the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’, the Safety of Journalists Platform launches a special page, which presents 16 cases of unsolved murders of journalists in the Council of Europe member states, as submitted by the partner organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists. These cases are listed on the platform as impunity for murders, highlighting deficiencies in investigations and failure to bring to justice all the perpetrators, the organisers or the masterminds of these crimes. The 16 cases are: Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev (2013, Russian Federation); Mikhail Beketov (2013, Russian Federation); Hrant Dink (2007,…

#endimpunity: the murder case of Dusko Jovanovic reported to the CoE platform

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed its affiliate the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) in demanding the authorities in Montenegro to urgently “secure the conditions for carrying out an independent investigation of assassination of Dusko Jovanovic, the editor-in-chief of newspaper “Dan”. It has passed 14 years since our colleague Jovanovic was murdered, and state authorities failed to detect, find and arrest the perpetrators and masterminds of the most grave violation against journalists in the history of Montenegro. Dusko Jovanovic was killed on May 27, 2004 in front of the editorial offices of his newspaper in Podgorica. After 14…

Montenegrin investigative journalist Olivera Lakić shot and injured

The European and the International Federation of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined its Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Journalists of Montenegro (SMCG) in condemning the attack on Vijesti journalist Olivera Lakić, who was shot in the leg outside her home on 8 May 2018, in Podgorica. She was taken to the hospital and remains in stable condition after a man shot her in the right leg, while two other men ran away, according to Vijesti’s editor-in-chief. Olivera Lakić is working as an investigative journalist for the daily newspaper Vijesti. She is known for investigating crime and corruption in Montenegro. According to media reports she…

Study reveals one-third of Montenegrin journalism students don’t want to work in the media

A survey carried out by the EFJ affiliate in Montenegro, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), about the exptectations of journalism students in Montenegro showed that a majority of respondents do not plan to work as a journalist after their studies. Almost 90% of surveyed students believe that getting a job in the profession will not be easy. About a third of Montenegrin journalism students do not see themselves working in this profession in the future – instead they see themselves in public relations (PR) or some other jobs. “Half of the journalism students would love to work at TV stations,…

Freedom of expression deteriorates in EU candidate countries, shows EU progress reports

The European Commission published on 17 April 2018 its annual Enlargement Package, including the country reports (formerly known as “progress reports”), assessing the implementation of the European Union’s enlargement policy regarding the accession process of the Western Balkans and Turkey. These country reports shows alarmingly precarious working conditions of journalists as the level of press freedom deteriorates further. In four countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) no progress has been achieved in the area of press freedom. Issues of attacks on journalists, defamation cases media ownership, lack of funding of the public service broadcasters and self-censorship prevail. Some of…

New Council of Europe report calls on Montenegrin legislators to ensure professional rights of journalists

The final report “Montenegro Media Sector Inquiry” published on 5 April 2018, expressed the urgent need for Montenegrin authorities to guarantee professional rights of journalists. A group of independent experts carried out a detailed analysis of the Montenegrin media sector from August 2017 until January 2018. Representatives from the EFJ’s Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) were consulted for the investigation. The report found that the private Montenegrin media had failed to engage with the SMCG about a collective agreement prepared by the national journalist trade union a year ago. The EFJ backs the recommendation addressed to private…

Western Balkans: media freedoms and safety of journalists still at risk

A delegation of the Western Balkans’ Regional Platform project for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety visited Brussels on March 21st and 22nd and held meetings and consultations with the members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission from the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement negotiations (DG NEAR). Representatives of journalists’ associations and a trade union from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia presented the journalists’ safety and the media situation in their countries. They emphasised joint problems their members and other journalists face, including poor working conditions, fear for personal safety due to work,…

In the front line to raise trust in journalism in South East Europe

On Monday (22/01/2018), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organised a training of trainers workshop for the Labour Rights Expert Group Plus (LAREG+) at the EU InfoCentre in Podgorica (Montenegro) in the framework of its project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey, financially supported by the UNESCO and the European Union. Trade union or professional association representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo followed the training given by Croatian journalist and trade unionist Gabrijela Galic on how to build trust in media in the Western Balkans. The Turkish participant was not allowed to leave…

Incentivising media rights and plurality by supporting good practices in Western Balkans and Turkey

“How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey” was the topic of a press conference held by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14th November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels. The press conference took place in the framework of the EFJ project, Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – a project supported financially by UNESCO and the European Union. Andris Kesteris, principal advisor at DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission and Tarja Turtia, UNESCO Programme Specialist, attended the event to hear representatives of…

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