The State of Science Journalism in Montenegro

‘The Declaration of Ecological State’ was signed by Montenegro in Zabljak on 20th September 1991. According to the declaration: “by establishing the state relation with nature, the Montenegrin Assembly committed all generations to refer to nature as to the health source and inspiration for freedom, as well as to devote to its preservation in the name of their own survival and future descendants.” But in reality, things are a little bit different

When it comes to science journalism we have a similar situation. We talk about science, we love it, but we are not enough focused on science. Politics, the economy, social topics are the most important news in every country. I only cover science and as a science journalist, it took me almost 6 years to find a Montenegrin editor interested in publishing science stories.

It is funny that I have published articles in the US, Morocco, Serbia, Croatia. However, getting something published in Montenegro was very hard. Why? In my opinion, it is easier to hire a journalist who can cover every subject. A journalist who will just copy and paste scientific news (usually the same news) or who will write pseudo-scientific articles to attract more readers, likes, and shares. Of course, there are journalists who write/talk about environmental protection and environmental problems, health, education, and plagiarism. But their job is not just focused on science reporting and that puts a huge pressure on them.

When the Association of Science Journalists of Montenegro (ASJM) recently was launched not even one article in the Montenegrin press was dedicated to the start of the association. Something that surprised me a lot. On the other hand, we have scientists and professors from the University of Montenegro who are really interested in our Association and I would like to see more of them present in the media because of this is something new for them too.

A huge problem is that as a science journalist you cannot always get all the answers you need on time and that is something we need to work on.

I would just like to use this opportunity to also mention that the ASJM has a blog. During the first 50 days, we received 100 visits from the USA, 63 from Croatia, 19 from Montenegro, 7 from Germany and 4 from the UK. That shows us that people are clearly interested in our science journalism association, right?

I therefore strongly believe that the ASJM will bring some positive changes in 2017 in the way science journalism will be perceived in Montenegro. This year will be a year for science journalism in my country!

Article by Maria Bolevich. Ms. Bolevich is a 27-year-old graduate of the Medical High School and of the Faculty of Metallurgy and Technology, Department of Environmental protection at the University of Montenegro. She wrote her first scientific article in 2009, which triggered her passion for science journalism. She is enthusiastic and eager to know where the ASJM will stand in five years from now.

Montenegro, January 2017.