Media Situation in Montenegro

Montenegro has passed a serious change, from a totalitarian society with only one television and one newspaper owned by state government, to a pluralistic and cluttered media landscape. The situation in Montenegro was similar like in other countries of former Yugoslavia. The media market started its development after the country had left the single party system in the 1990s. The biggest issue in Montenegro is financing of media, which is a problem on several levels.

Media that are financed from the state budget are subject of government influence. In theory, all commercial media in Montenegro should be independent, but since Montenegro is a small market, commercial media often carry out PR projects for the government, thus becoming susceptible to government influence. Yet, these are problems faced by all the former Yugoslav republics, and Montenegro is not different in this aspect. The Public Procurement Law reduced government influence to some extent. However, the economic market in Montenegro is getting more liberal due to European legislation (which is adopted by Montenegro on the road to EU membership). Moreover, Montenegro still hasn’t dealt with problems of media freedom, media ownership and the great number of media titles in comparison to the very small market.

The current media situation is influenced by the started digitization of TV signals in Montenegro. The process is still at its beginning, and the deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting is mid-2015. An improvement of the quality of the television signal is already noticeable.

In Montenegro, the popularity of the Internet is growing, especially among the younger generation. However, print media and television have not lost their influence in Montenegro.

Jelena Jovanovic

Sources:

  • Agencija za elektronske medije Crne Gore/ Agency for electronic media
  • Media, media freedom and democracy in Montenegro, Center for Democracy and Human rights (CEDEM) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), October 2011
  • Online hate speech Montenegro country report; Montenegro media institute
  • Public opinion survey conducted by IPSOS strategic marketing, December 2013