Director of the Agency for Electronic Media, Mr. Abaz Džafić, issued a decision on Friday, accepting Human Rights Action’s (HRA) complaint and finding that the commercial company „Pink M Company“ (television Pink M) has, by broadcasting 5 news reports „Minut, dva“ (One to two minutes) about HRA Executive Director Tea Gorjanc-Prelević (8 times on 30 January 2015; 6 times on 2 November 2015; 10 times on 17 November 2015; 11 times on 18 November 2015; and 8 times on 20 November 2015), “committed multiple violations of the principles of objectivity, impartiality, accuracy, the principle of freedom of publishing comments and respect of the rule of the other side”, and therefore:
a) Issued a warning, as an administrative and supervisory measure due to violations of the Electronic Media Act, the Rulebook on Program Standards in Electronic Media and the Broadcasting license,
b) Warned that all future violations shall result in stricter measures in accordance with the Electronic Media Act (stricter measures include temporary or permanent revocation of the Broadcasting licence, Art. 142),
c) Ordered TV Pink M to publish the warning measure in its programme within news report “Minut, dva”.
TV Pink M has the right to file a complaint to the Council of the Agency within 15 days.
The Media Council for Self-Regulation (MCSR) previously adopted three decisions also accepting HRA Executive Director’s complaints filed in relation to content published in news reports “Minut, dva” of TV Pink M, and found violations of the Code of Montenegrin Journalists in relation to accuracy, failure to separate comments from facts and failure to publish a reply. The MCSR found: “Acting in accordance with its well-known pattern, TV Pink M failed to separate the news from the negative comment, which is typical for one-sided negative campaigning, which denies objective information contrary to Principle 3 of the Code of Ethics of Journalists of Montenegro.”
On this occasion HRA Executive Director Tea Gorjanc-Prelević stated:
“The decision of the Agency for Electronic Media Director, as well as three decisions of the Media Council for Self-Regulation, adopting HRA complaints against TV Pink M news programme, point to the fact that objective informing of citizens is not the goal of this television, but mudslinging of a person who does not suit personal interests of its private owner. All citizens who observe that TV Pink M deceives the public with biased reporting, especially in the news report “Minut, dva”, should follow the example of HRA and file a complaint to the Agency for Electronic Media and Media Council for Self-Regulation and stand up for their right to be adequately informed in accordance with the law and ethics of journalism.”
The complaints to the Agency and the MCSR are available at HRA webpage (in Montenegrin).