The joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Montenegro” (JUFREX) continued co-operation with the Media Trade union (MTU) on addressing the issue of the protection of journalists, which has been highlighted by the latest EU progress report as one of the key national priorities in the area of media freedoms. The seminar “The importance of the risk assessments for media workers” with members of the MTU was organised with the intention to enhance the capacities of the local journalists and media associations to better plan the protection of journalists.
The event was primarily facilitated by David Bevan, expert of International Federation of Journalists with extensive track record in providing media outlets and journalists with concrete advisory services. He presented the MTU members with broad range of risks that journalists are facing in their work in various working and political environments, and what they should do in order to mitigate risks and adversarial effects on their work. These advices entailed issues such as planning, exchange of information and co-ordination within the media and with the external partners from legal, civil, public and judicial sector. Event also provided the local perspective of the issue of the protection of journalists – with the presentation of Jovo Martinovic, who spoke on the risks that local journalists are facing.
This has been the final event under the grant with the Media Trade union, and JUFREX will follow up on these risk assessment outlines as the basis for further discussions with the representatives of the judiciary and police. JUFREX is working in parallel with Police Directorate to develop operating procedure for police officers on how to assess the risks that journalists are facing in their work and enhance preventive support. Hence, in upcoming period JUFREX would strive to bring together all interested stakeholders and ensure alignment of these risk assessment procedures from both ends, on what police officers and what journalists should do in order to ensure improved protection of journalists.
Action “Freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Montenegro – JUFREX 2” is implemented under the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022".