Montenegrin PM: ‘Media freedom, safety of journalists… a moral and democratic obligation of Montenegro’s authorities’

Montenegrin PM: ‘Media freedom, safety of journalists… a moral and democratic obligation of Montenegro’s authorities’

Addressing attendees of the International Conference on Media Sustainability and Successful Media Business Models, sponsored by the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, the Prime Minister of the country, Duško Marković, spoke of the immense need to enjoy democratic values in the state, among them, the freedom of press.

What is more, the Montenegrin premier said that local society “lacks the courage of journalists to search for the truth, facts and evidence, as well as the courage of the public to hear and face what the journalists have founded out. He added that regardless of all these, it is absolutely unacceptable to endanger the personal safety of journalists as a method of resolving any misunderstandings and dissatisfaction”, reads the governmental web page.

Taking into account the fact the Montenegro looks forward to its accession in the EU, the PM characterised certain values not a European “prerogative” but a democratic principle of all countries in the world.

“I will remind you of a wise statement by Winston Churchill, because his message just seems to me very suitable for the topic we are talking about today. He says: ‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.’ If we would consider this thought in the context of the topic of this conference, and even in terms of the overall importance of the media in the modern world, we would conclude that it is precisely the courage that we need most. The courage of journalists to stand up and speak about all the topics important to the society in which they exist. The courage to search for the truth, the facts, the evidence that will be the basis of their work. The willingness of the public to hear those truths. We are witnessing that such courage is lacking on both sides. Therefore, journalists sometimes resort to unsubstantiated condemnation, indulging in individual and group interests, propaganda, while on the other hand, the public has no courage to accept a journalistic research based on arguments challenging the authority of the entire media community. Thus, a circle of lack of courage and mistrust has been created. in my opinion, this is the essence of the problem that burdens us”, stressed Montenegro’s head of the government.

In an effort to condemn all abusive actions against professionals of the media, given that the latest murder of the Bulgarian journalist, Victoria Marinova has sent shock waves to all (democratic?) societies across Europe and in the Balkans, too and also in a move to prove to the Union how very much in favour of respecting human freedoms Montenegro is, Marković left no room for misunderstandings:

“I tell our partners in the international community: Media freedom and safety of journalists are not a condition for the EU accession! No, it is a moral and democratic obligation of Montenegro’s authorities, which we will ultimately carry out, even if we never join the EU!”.

Talking of a polluted media space soon to look less fuzzy, the Montenegrin high official said, “In Montenegro, we have had an extremely liberal policy towards the media from other countries, thus opening our media space practically without restrictions. It turned out that many abuse this and use our openness to lead media wars against Montenegro, its national policies and its national interests. They spread elementarily inaccurate news, rotating a few would-be analysts. Not only do they fabricate falsehoods, but also insult everything that today’s Montenegro cherishes. It is clear that it is not about professional media broadcasts, but about platforms for propaganda against Montenegro, whose contents devastate the social and cultural heritage of Montenegro. We will end up pollution of our media space very soon.”… / IBNA