November 24, 2019 - Montenegro has been a very interesting country in terms of geopolitics and there’s clear foreign influence on the media, which has been subject to misinformation and media manipulation.
Such state of affairs might affect some social and political processes, especially in the times of global tensions, so the whole society must be aware of the problem and thus make a broader social coalition for the responsible solution to this issue, President of the Association of Citizens ‘Why Not’ [in Montenegrin: Zašto ne], Darko Brkan, assessed in an interview for Dnevne Novine daily.
After Mr Bokan launched the portal Raskrinkavanje.ba [it monitors, analyzes, assesses and reveals fake news and media manipulation], many similar portals were launched in the region as well and as for MNE, it exists within the Centre for Democratic Transition, CDT, since last year.
According to him, media literacy represents the best answer to the problem of misinformation and media manipulation, but it is a long-term job and current threats need to be addressed at multiple levels, starting from the strengthening of organizations dealing with media liability.
When asked to comment on the situation in MNE and the fact that it has been exposed to a kind of hybrid war, he said: “Montenegro has similar problems as the rest of the region in this context. The media, in pursuit of sustainability, lose their independence and become spokespersons for political groups, and journalists in such situations cannot maintain their integrity. The division on the political scene leads to the division in the media.”
In his previous interviews, Mr Brkan used to claim that there were two types of fake media –one launching misinformation for money and others for political reasons. On the question of which one we have more in the media scene, he answered: “There is no doubt about it – the media spreading misinformation for money. “
Speaking about the cooperation with the colleagues from Montenegro, that is, the CDT, he noted: “Of course we are collaborating with our colleagues from the CDT, we have developed the methodology by joint forces, and we helped them when they were starting this whole process. Challenges before the CDT are just as ours, and our greatest challenge right now is the lack of capacities so that we can check all the articles in the media on a daily basis…but the situation is getting better.”
On the situation in the region and major issues in the media, Mr Brkan said: “There are three kinds of problems in the media: the first and the most important one is the usage of the media for political and business purposes. The problem with this is that it leads to significant violations of journalism ethics manifested through the spreading of fake news and media manipulation. Another problem is a complete transformation of the society through which we are getting the information, which came as a consequence of social networks.”
Text by CDM on November 23, 2019, read more here.
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