Media Ownership Monitor Montenegro

Media ownership monitoring eng

Montenegro is one of the few countries that lacks publicly available basic information about the media market. This information is crucial for objectively assessing the size of the media market or determining who holds a key share in it. Currently, no state authority, independent regulator, or independent institution has data on the size of the media market, especially the advertising market size, which is essential for planning the further development of the media community in Montenegro.

Additionally, there is no independent and objective institution or organization measuring the audience, readership, or listenership of media in any format. While some telecommunications operators measure the viewership of certain television programs, these data are not publicly available, owned by companies, based on samples exclusive to those companies, not publicly validated, and cannot be considered entirely independent and objective. There is no publicly available unified metric for online media, forcing citizens to use various internet tools that do not guarantee the accuracy or credibility of the obtained data in practice. Radio stations and newspapers lack any measurement of listenership and readership.

On the other hand, Montenegro is one of the few countries facing significant foreign ownership in domestic media. Most key media in the country are majority or entirely owned by foreign owners. Simultaneously, our media market is highly exposed to media from neighbouring countries due to the shared or similar linguistic area. This situation raises significant concerns, especially considering that citizens in Montenegro, as well as other interested parties, lack any objective information about the media market or the consumption of media content. However, media in Montenegro in audio-visual formats (television and radio stations) are under the jurisdiction of the regulator – the Agency for Electronic Media. Therefore, they are obligated to adhere to all laws and rules applicable in Montenegro, regardless of the owner's origin.

Despite the unregulated media market, Montenegro has many media outlets in various formats, with internet portals dominating in terms of quantity. Although there are over 180 registered media outlets in the country, the media themselves often emphasize that survival in the market is impossible without significant state support, even by the largest media in Montenegro. All of this raise concerns that the number of media outlets in Montenegro is disproportionate to what the market can sustain. On the other hand, it is unquestionable that citizens of Montenegro must have access to diverse and pluralistic media content.

Research data indicate that for several media owners in Montenegro, basic public data is unavailable, making it very difficult to assess whether they are the actual owners or if someone is using them to conceal their real ownership in the media.