Respect for media standards during the corona epidemic

PODGORICA, 23.03.2020. – The Ombudsmans of daily newspapers “Dan” and “Vijesti”, weekly magazine “Monitor” and the Media Council for Self-Regulation (MSS) appealed to all journalists and the media to respect the highest professional and ethical standards in difficult and complex times like this. 

It is emphasized that at a time when it is difficult to remain calm, in conditions of limited movement and possibilities, partial or complete self-isolation, accurate and timely information is essential for the organized response of society to this challenge and prevention not only the spread of contagion, but also panic and the mess that can accompany it.

“The media therefore have a key role to play by ensuring true, rapid and responsible reporting of a pandemic that has dramatically changed the lives of millions around the world overnight”, the ombudsman’s announcement said.

They remind media employees that professional and ethical reporting has never been more important than today, the need to respect the principles of the Code of Journalists of Montenegro (KNCG) and the importance of professional coverage of the new corona virus and pandemic it has caused.

“We particularly emphasize the importance of adhering to Principles 1 and 7 of the KNCG and their guidelines regarding the obligation of accurate, complete and balanced reporting and the prohibition of sensationalism. It is of utmost importance to use a sufficient number of sources to verify the accuracy of published information”, it is stated.

It is important to respect, as they said, the privacy of the persons whose health status is being reported and the non-disclosure of their personal information (names, other identifying information), unless requested or disclosed by the sick person.

The public interest, it is estimated, has never been more important, so the number of likes and visits should not be a criterion for the publication of article.

“Because of all of the above, the Ombudsman of “Dan”, “Vijesti”, “Monitor” and MSS appealed to all journalists and the media to respect the highest professional and ethical standards in these difficult and complex times and to keep others from their writing in order to truly meet all the challenges that this time imposes, “the joint statement said.

The announcement was signed by Ombudsman of “Vijesti” and “Monitor”, Paula Petricevic, Ombudsman of “Dan”, Ilija Jovicevic and MSS Executive Secretary Ranko Vujovic.

TUMM, Podgorica, 23/03/2020