Montenegro: historic collective agreement improves employees’ rights at public broadcaster RTCG

The Trade Union Media of Montenegro (SMCG) signed an historic collective agreement with the public broadcaster Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) on 28 June, after three years of collective bargaining. According to SMCG, a valid collective agreement in the public broadcaster has not existed for almost 10 years. The document was signed by the Minister of culture Aleksandar Bogdanovic, the Managing Director of RTCG Bozidar Sundic, and the representatives of the trade unions Jadranka Drobnjak and Slavica Kruscic. It affects the daily work of more than 700 employees, out of which 300 are members of SMCG. The agreement is the…

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…

Montenegro: Journalist Vladimir Otasevic received death threat

A Montenegrin journalist working for Dan newspaper, Vladimir Otasevic, reported that the Prime Minister’s brother, Velizar Markovic, had threatened his safety during a phone call on Monday 11 September. In the conversation, Otasevic was asking for a phone number of the Prime Minister’s other brother when Markovic  insulted and verbally threatened him, saying that he shouldn’t be surprised if someone ends up dead at the end. An audio recording of the conversation was released by Dan on Tuesday. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today strongly condemned the death threats and backed its affiliate in Montenegro, the Trade Union Media…

Trial against Montenegrin journalist Martinovic to continue on April 11

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro expressing their grave concerns on the ongoing trial against investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic. “Together with our affiliate the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), we wish to recall our letter of 2 September, in which we raised our concern over the arrest of detention of Mr. Martinovic for membership of a criminal organisation and drug offences, despite compelling evidence which shows he was only doing his job as an undercover investigative journalist.” At the beginning of the year Martinovic received…

Montenegro: Investigative journalist Martinovic released while pending trial

Yesterday evening investigative reporter Jovo Martinovic has been released from over a year of detention ahead of his appearance in court on January 19 to answer drugs-smuggling charges while pending trial. He was indicted for aiding and belonging to a drugs-trafficking gang in April 2016 and is due to appear in court on January 19. The EFJ and IFJ in cooperation with its member in Montenegro, the Trade Union Media of Montenegro  (SMCG) had urged in a letter to former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic in September  to consider his journalistic work as a justifiable explanation for his alleged contacts with…

Montenegro: EFJ-IFJ call to release journalist Jovo Martinović

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ), together with the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), have today sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, to share their deep concerns over the court proceedings of freelance journalist Montenegrin journalist Jovo Martinović. With this letter, EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård and IFJ president Philippe Leruth are urging the Montenegrin authorities to consider his journalistic work as a possible explanation for his alleged contacts with drug traffickers.  Jovo Martinović had been detained on suspicion of participating in a drug trafficking ring since 22 October 2015. He has always defended that…

Journalists speak out against media violations in Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) and its members from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (in picture) spoke out against media violations in their countries and call for more actions in a conference held on 4 November in Brussels by the European Commission (DG NEAR) to highlight the media freedom situation and progress made in Western Balkans and Turkey. A high-level meeting, the “Speak Up conference on Freedom of Expression and Media in the Western Balkans and Turkey” was kicked off by the European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn. Unfortunately, hardly any progress is echoed by…

Montenegro: Violence against journalists is unacceptable and dangerous

On Saturday (17/10/2015), the police in Montenegro violently broke peaceful protests and two journalists were subsequently detained. Drazen Zivkovic, a journalist working for the daily newspaper Dan and Gojko Raičević, the chief editor of an online news portal IN4S were detained after being obstructed from filming the police action against politicians from the opposition parties. Press photographers who came to the site of obstruction were also pushed by police and banned to report from the scene. Montenegro: Two journalists arrested with force at protest https://t.co/W23V35fuLy #MediaFreedom #ECPMF #mapmf — Index on Censorship (@IndexCensorship) October 20, 2015 “The Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG)…