OSCE Mission to Montenegro shares recommendations on journalistic reporting during election campaigns

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Ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the OSCE Mission to Montenegro partnered with representatives from media self-regulatory bodies in Montenegro to draft a Manual on effective media reporting during election campaigns with 22 concrete recommendations in line with OSCE and international standards, and the Code of Ethics for Montenegrin Journalists.

The Introduction of the Manual sets out the obligation of the media to report accurately and with due care as a fundamental preconditions for the functioning of democracy based on universal suffrage. It adds that the Manual offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to the media community to identify potential professional challenges and provides suggestions as to how to professionally respond to these challenges while covering an election campaign.

In drafting this manual, representatives of the media self-regulatory bodies reviewed recommendations from international organizations on media reporting during elections, as well as the national legal framework within which elections take place. The document also stresses the importance of professional and ethical reporting, to accurately present pluralistic and balanced views in covering an election.  In addition to reporting on the performance of incumbents, providing a platform for debates among candidates, allowing candidates to communicate their message to the electorate, and reporting on campaign developments, the media should inform voters on how to exercise their rights, monitor the electoral process, including election-day proceedings, and report the results to the public. The manual also includes suggestions for preparing the editorial office for the elections.

Members of the Technical Working Group on Self-Regulation, who prepared the Manual, are: Mr Ranko Vujović, Executive Secretary of the Media Council for Self-Regulation; Ms Aneta Spaic, Representative of the Media Council for Self-Regulation; Mr Mihailo Jovović, Programme Director of the daily Vijesti; Ms Paula Petričević, Ombudsperson of the daily Vijesti and the weekly Monitor; Mr Ilija Jovićević, Ombudsperson of the daily Dan and Ms Ljiljana Minić, Editor at the daily Dan.