Over the next two years, the EU Delegation to Montenegro will invest approximately €1 million in the development of Montenegrin media through the Media Professionalization Program. The budget will be earmarked for five selected projects, which will be carried out by a total of 16 media companies and organisations. The projects will be focusing on the development of investigative journalism in the field of environmental protection; the training of journalists; supporting local media; promoting consumer protection, and the professionalization of media coverage around minorities.
The Program for Media Professionalization will be held for the third time since 2017 and, so far, the European Union has invested over €2 million in professionalizing the media in Montenegro. Media Advisor to the EU Delegation to Montenegro Nadežda Dramičanin stressed that it was necessary to continue investing in the media so that they could become more professional and more independent.
“Our wish is to help develop a professional, independent, transparent, accountable, and financially viable media scene in Montenegro. We want to support journalists and media organisations, especially at the local level, to follow the latest trends of journalism, while contributing to the democratization of society and addressing the debate around they country’s EU integration process. On the other hand, we also want to support organisations who can educate media consumers and strengthen media literacy in an era when democratic principles are threatened by disinformation and informational influence”, said Dramičanin.
Radio Television Pljevlja will carry out the “Media Hub for Environmental Reporting” project in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) and the NGO “Green Home.” As part of the project they will organize training sessions for journalists who will then prepare TV series and documentaries on environmental protection. The Center for Investigative Reporting of Montenegro (CIN), in cooperation with the weekly “Monitor” and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, will implement the project “Investigative Reporting on Environmental Protection, Together with Citizens.”
“The project aims to strengthen the capacity for investigative journalism and increase the citizens’ interest in topics under the negotiation Chapters 23, 24, and 27. In addition to research stories, it will also create an online platform where citizens will be able to report on environmental issues locally”, the EU delegation to Montenegro notes in its press release.
The production company “B Film Montenegro,” together with the Center for Civic Education (CCE), the Institute for Business and Financial Literacy, and the Share Foundation will implement the project “Support to local media; first-hand stories!” which targets the local media, and will have the opportunity to receive small grants of up to €15,000. In addition, local media journalists will have the opportunity to attend digital and financial media literacy training. The project “You are what you consume – more professional stories locally and nationally for better information for citizens” will be implemented by TV Prva, the Center for Consumer Protection (CEZAP), and Radio Television Cetinje. The aim is to strengthen independent and investigative journalism with a focus on consumer rights through training for interested journalists, as well as by launching a consumer caravan – a public event with citizens.
Galileo Production and the LGBT Forum Progress, 35mm, 4 LIFE, Roma youth organisation “Walk with Us – Phiren Amenca,” and the Youth with Disabilities Association NGOs will work together for the “PRIME – Professional, Responsible, Inclusive, Media” project. They will work on developing independent and investigative journalism on EU topics with a focus on minorities, by organizing educational modules and creating a newsroom for inclusive investigative reporting. The project will also host the first media festival on inclusive reporting.
“We are very glad to support these five ambitious grant projects, which will provide investigative journalism training and other educational opportunities to journalists. Project activities will also raise awareness amongst citizens on issues important both for local communities and for the EU integration process of the country; they will support the professionalization of the media at the local level, while they will also develop the Montenegrin media production scene. We look forward to the successful implementation of the projects and their sustainable effects on the media scene”, Dramičanin pointed out. /ibna