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A special edition of Balkan Insight examining critical issues facing post-independence Montenegro was published on June 23. The edition, Montenegro Special, comprising seven articles by BIRN journalists, followed a four-day workshop on the subject in Budva at the beginning of June, organised by BIRN Serbia

The articles dealt with issues ranging from the economy, relations between groups of different ethnic backgrounds, tourism, the question of refugees, forthcoming elections and achieving the long-term goal of joining the European Union.

Nedjeljko Rudovic, Vijesti, looked at Montenegro’s European aspirations; Petar Komnenic, Monitor, assessed upcoming elections and the fact that independence will no longer represent the major campaign issue; Bojana Stanisic, Dan, revealed Serb intentions to sell their property and move to Serbia; Sead Sadikovic, freelance journalist, explained how the independence poll created ethnic divisions in Bijelo Polje. Izedina Adzovic, Radio Tuzi, and Zeljko Madzgalj, Polje, explored the economic potential of an independent Montengro. Tufik Softic, Radio Berane, reported on the plight of refugees; and Nikola Doncic, Monitor, profiled Montenegrin tourism.

In a separate article, Samir Adrovic, Vijesti, examined whether the independence poll had been manipulated by Albanians.

Gordana Igric, BIRN director and editor-in-chief, Nedjeljko Rudovic, a Vijesti journalist and BIRN representative in Podgorica, as well as Dragana Nikolic Solomon, BIRN Serbia director and editor, worked intensively with the journalists who contributed to the Montenegro Special, providing them with on-the-job training and editorial support for their articles.

Montenegrin journalists were delighted with the BIRN mentoring programme and the subsequent package of stories.

Sadikovic said the workshop was very important to him and represented right way forward, “I was happy that I had the opportunity to exchange views with my colleagues and by working on the articles together, we were able to help each other.”