Human Rights Action (HRA) welcomes the decision of the Media Council for Self-Regulation (MSS) to deal with complaints against violations of ethics relating exclusively to the media that are members of that organization.
Meaning that, from now on, all complaints of violations of the Code of Journalists of Montenegro that will be addressed to MSS, relating to the articles published in the daily newspapers Dan, Vijesti, Monitor, and reports on TV Vijesti, will be forwarded to the ombudspersons of these media. Also, MSS will no longer act as a second instance body on complaints against decisions of the ombudspersons of those media.
By this decision, the MSS accepted the recommendation from the project “Monitoring of Journalistic Self-Regulatory Bodies in Montenegro”. The project has been implemented by HRA with the assisstance of Dragoljub Duško Vuković and Marijana Buljan from September 2012 to September 2014 thanks to the support of the British Embassy in Podgorica. Reports from this project testify to the development of self-regulation in the media in Montenegro and are available here.
HRA is especially pleased with the expressed willingness of the MSS to contribute to the improvement of relations in the media community, overcoming existing divisions and joint efforts to enhance professional standards and restore confidence in independent and objective journalism, as stated in their announcement. We have been expecting such determination for a long time and continuously advocated for it.
Most importantly, all influential media in Montenegro now accept some form of self-regulation, either as MSS or their own ombudspersons. HRA expects further and continuous cooperation between these bodies on the uniform implementation of the Code of Ethics of Journalists to provide citizens with the appropriate standard of responsible reporting.