More than half of the journalists believe that fake news are a problem for the Montenegrin society, and almost all agree that the journalists themselves are the first line of defence against that occurrence, showed the study carried out by De Facto agency. The study is a result of the project “Dealing with Ethics and Fake News,” financially assisted by the EU, and carried out by the Mina News Agency and the NGOs Nomen and 35 mm.
The survey included 50 journalists from traditional media outlets. Considering the fake news, 55% of them stated that fake news present a problem for the Montenegrin society, and 90% of them believe that the journalists themselves should be the first line of defence against it, followed by self-regulatory bodies, media managements, and national institutions.
A quater of the respondents believe that the fake news are most often found through social media channels, and the same number also believes that traditional media channels also release fake news.
Kristina Cetkovic, from the NGO 35mm, said that one the project activities is the launch of the website www.mediji.me, envisaged to be a unique platform for all the participants in the field of dealing with news. She emphasised that this website is not a self-regulatory body, but a platform envisaged to connect the citizens and the media.
The Mina News agency’s Executive Director Jasa Jovicevic explained that the broad media forum, consisting of the media outlets and professional associations, is envisaged by the project.
“We have invited all media outlets in Montenegro and the turnout is solid. Over 15 media outlets and media organisations signed a memorandum and will actively participate in the part of the project regarding the drafting of the guidelines on using the code of ethics in the everyday work of the outlets,” explained Jovicevic.
On one hand, he stressed that this would be significant for the media, and on the other hand, it would be significant for the education of future journalists since this material will be eventually presented to the Faculty of Political Studies.
The total value of the project, which will last for 15 months, is around €128,000, while the target groups are the media outlets, media professionals, self-regulatory bodies, students of journalism, and the citizens – with aparticular focus on the NGO sector and the youth. The goal of the project is to raise awareness among the citizens about the code of ethics, and the way it should be perceived and used in order to understand when their rights are being violated.