Investigative journalists are not enemies of the state

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Investigative journalists should be protected and should not be treated as enemies of the state, said the Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Montenegro, Aivo Orav.

Media Institute of Montenegro (IMCG) announced a competition for the EU award for Investigative Journalism of the year, for best stories published in the previous year.

The competition for the EU award for investigative journalism is a regional initiative established by the European Commission.

Orav said at the press conference that the aim of the initiative is to reward journalists whose investigative stories contribute to transparency and reporting on social issues related to fundamental human rights, corruption and organized crime.

“The EU encourages and supports investigative journalism because when it is done professionally and with strict adherence to ethical standards, it represents an added value for the rule of law”, said Orav.

Investigative journalism, he said, contributes to the public presentation of cases in which there is a misuse of public funds or which show that public officials abuse their position, and thus the media hold institutions accountable.

“However, investigative journalism is unthinkable without freedom of expression. Therefore, the EU expects all enlargement countries to eliminate intimidation and violence against journalists and to combat impunity by making all such cases fully prosecuted,” said Orav.

He said that, in this regard, investigative journalists are especially vulnerable.

“They have to be protected and under no circumstances be treated as enemies of the state,” said Orav.

According to him, the working rights of journalists must be protected, since unsafe working conditions negatively affect the quality of the journalistic product, “and those are the information we consume as readers, listeners and viewers.”

“This brings us to the question of self-regulation and professionalism. In this context, we encourage Montenegrin journalists to always adhere to strict ethical principles, and to always have in mind the interest of the public,” said Orav.

Source: Radio Television Montenegro