Media ownership in Montenegro reflects the country’s tumultuous transition to democracy after the collapse of the communist regime in the early nineties.
From the early nineties until August 2020, Montenegro was governed by a predominant political party – the Democratic Party of Socialists and its former leader, Milo Đukanović. During those three decades, the main line of division among media was between that pro-government, supporting DPS, and pro-critical ones, which were its main opponents. Since the transition of power in 2020, constant political crises, and several elections held to date, it is way harder to determine the political affiliation of different media and their relations with political stakeholders.
The protracted and difficult transition to democracy - defined by high levels of corruption, organized crime, and the lack of rule of law, has created a media market that, at first sight, looks diverse and plural, but behind the scenes, is facing significant challenges. The European Commission notes that the media environment remains highly politically polarised, with uneven application of the journalistic Code of Ethics and professional standards, and that credible and effective self-regulation mechanisms need to be set up to strengthen media integrity and professionalism.
Besides heavy development of the digital in recent years, television stations are still the most consumed media format in Montenegro, followed by social media, portals, radios, and print. The highest level of public trust citizens lays with commercial media in Montenegro, according to all public opinion surveys.