Investigative journalists to receive the status of officials

Investigative journalists to receive the status of officials

Podgorica, PR press service – Investigative journalism can contribute to changes in everything that needs to change in Montenegro, and it is very important that journalists who deal with this type of journalism get the status of officials.

To je saopšteno na pres konferenciji Centra za demokratiju i ljudska prava (CEDEM) povodom predstavljanja rezultata projekta “Unapređivanje praksi lokalnih medija u borbi protiv korupcije i organizovanog kriminala”, koji je finansijski podržala Ambasada Sjedinjenih Američkih Država u Crnoj Gori.

Project Coordinator (CEDEM), Marko Pejović, said that the goal of the project is to contribute to Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic integration, by increasing the quality of credibility of investigative journalism in the field of corruption and organized crime.

“The purpose of the project was to strengthen the capacity of local journalists, which would result in a more professional approach to the research process, as well as more credible reporting in the field of corruption and organized crime.” “What makes this project special is that local public broadcasters were involved, as well as commercial ones, so we included ten journalists from three local public broadcasters and four commercial ones in Pljevlja, Kotor, Ulcinj, Bar and Berane,” said Pejović.

According to him, the importance of investigative journalism for all societies, especially for societies in transition and developing countries, is very important, especially at the local level.

“Investigative journalists must change their daily lives and fight for a better society, not accepting the world as it is, and that is what makes the key difference between everyday journalism and investigative journalism. “By promoting investigative journalism, one can contribute to changes in everything that needs to change in Montenegro, and in that sense, investigative journalism is a counterweight to tabloid journalism,” Pejović pointed out.

He believes that such projects should be a response to the tabloidization of journalism in Montenegro and the strengthening of all structures that will, as he stated, jointly promote the idea of ​​investigative journalism and contribute to strengthening the fight for the rule of law and democratization of society.

The project started with working meetings of representatives of the judiciary and the media, in Bar, Berane and Kotor. It was also assessed that it is very important that we have a common goal, which is credible and objective reporting, and that there should be as little speculation with various information as possible, and that as a result we have timely and accurate information for everything the public has the right to know, “he said. Pejovic.

On the other hand, he added, representatives of the judiciary pointed out the importance of knowing the terminology in the field of corruption and organized crime, “which CEDEM has been working on intensively in recent months, in cooperation with Insider and journalist Mirjana Jevtovic.”

Pejović said that the Guidelines for Investigative Journalists in the Field of Corruption and Organized Crime were developed within the project, which are intended for all journalists who have an aspiration to engage in investigative journalism in the field of corruption and organized crime, and the publication is available on CEDEM’s website. .

“In addition to educational workshops, a three-month mentoring was conducted, which aimed to start applying everything they acquired as skills in educational workshops in practice. During those three months, they had Mirjana Jevtović at their disposal, that is, support in the overall research process so that they could finalize the stories in the best way, “said Pejović.

He said that the main result of the project is a set of research stories, which intrigued both the general public and the professional public of local communities, but also wider.

“We had the opportunity for the national media, but also the media from the region, to broadcast certain parts of the stories, and for the public to be interested in the topics we covered,” said Pejović.

Speaking about the recommendations, he pointed out that it is very important to focus on improving the security conditions of investigative journalists at the local level, due to the challenges they face, and to give journalists the status of an official.

“Self-censorship and censorship are two very important problems that journalists face, and which are very pronounced, which is why it is necessary that the editorial policy of the media must be independent, especially when it comes to public broadcasters,” said Pejović.

He assessed that it is important to improve the material conditions for the work of journalists and to continue the continuous education of journalists at all levels.

The editor of the portal, Milena Bubanja Obradović, assessed that the project is important for local journalists, primarily for young people, who, as she stated, do not have the opportunity to engage in investigative journalism through daily activities within their newsrooms.

“The biggest advantage is that we had what we lacked in the newsrooms, and that is support and logistics. “As journalists, we are forced when we work in a small newsroom at the local level, to have the impression that we are everything – both editors and web designers of our stories that we publish on the Internet, and if we publish them on the radio we are even subtle,” she said. Bubanja Obradović.

She believes that it is important that someone from the region was involved in the whole story, and who has much more experience.

Bubanja Obradović said that the story they were working on met with good reactions and recognition from colleagues from other media, and that the regional media also wrote about that success.

“This is the first time that Radio Berane, as a local public broadcaster, has its own research series and the first time that it is a research on underage contracted marriages. “We focused on a part of our population, so we included in the story only the Roma and Egyptian communities living in Berane, but we came to some knowledge concerning the issue of underage contractual marriages in Berane,” said Bubanja Obradovic.

The journalist of the independent daily Vijesti, Radomir Petrić, said that the acquired knowledge and skills enabled them to reach approximately similar standards in different environments as in Insider, and ultimately to make the product interesting stories “that aroused great public interest in all cities”. .

“In my case, it was a forgotten competition for the architectural solution of the Bar of the 21st century, which was supposed to direct the city towards the future Mediterranean center, the fashionable one, in the era of the greatest construction expansion,” said Petrić.

He explained that this did not happen because the investment wave was scared, as well as the whole topic was forgotten, which, as he said, only saw the light of day in the local parliament at the end of last year, after a break of more than ten years.

It was interesting for me to choose a topic to see why such a topic, which is of long-term interest for the development of the city and the entire local community and state, was quickly forgotten, and to see how much this fact corresponds to current issues in drafting and various discussions about planning documents “, stated Petrić.

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