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PM Markovic: Freedom of media and safety of journalists are not condition for Montenegro's accession to EU, but its moral, democratic obligation

PM Markovic: Freedom of media and safety of journalists are not condition for Montenegro
Published date: 09.10.2018 11:02 | Author: PR Service

Ispis Print

Podgorica, Montenegro (9 October 2018) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the Montenegrin 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.

"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 essence of the problem that burdens us," said the Prime Minister opening the International Conference on Media Sustainability and Successful Media Business Models, sponsored by the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.

Prime Minister Marković pointed to the absolute inadmissibility of endangering the personal safety of journalists, as a way of resolving any misunderstandings and dissatisfaction, and said that the Government is firmly committed to providing personal security to journalists in Montenegro.

"The entire security sector has a clear mandate to investigate all the endangerment of the safety of journalists, to search for perpetrators 24 hours a day, and no such case must be archived without a concrete police, prosecutorial and judicial dismissal. Whoever the perpetrators are, we will be prosecuting them until the day of judgment!" he underscored.

He added that media freedom and the safety of journalists are not a prerequisite for Montenegro's accession to the European Union, but its moral and democratic obligation.

"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!" said Prime Minister Duško Marković.

Prime Minister Duško Marković noted that the Government intervened through the model of state aid in the past years and bought debt of commercial printed and electronic media from 2011 to 2013 amounting to EUR 5.3 million. Furthermore, due to unpaid obligations and the need to encourage the sustainability of the media scene, the Government bought the debts of commercial broadcasters towards the Broadcasting Centre totalling around EUR 1.6 million in 2017.

"We also worked in terms of legislation. Pursuant to the Government's Agenda for 2018, the Draft Law on Media and the Draft Law Amending the Law on National Broadcaster RTCG were developed. The drafts of these laws are the product of multi-departmental working groups comprised of representatives of the media, media associations, civil society, academia and representatives of state authorities. Solutions have been found in line with high international standards and good practices in this area," Prime Minister Marković explained.

The Prime Minister concluded by saying that the pollution of the media space in Montenegro will be ended up soon.

"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."