Representatives of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro attended an online training for journalists regarding the Digital Agenda organized by the NGO 35mm as part of the project “Increasing civic engagement in the field of Digital Agenda – ICEDA”.
The project partners are: Metamorphosis Foundation (Northern Macedonia) in partnership with Levizja MJAFT (Albania), Open Data Kosovo (Kosovo), NGO 35MM (Montenegro) and CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Serbia), e-Government Academy (Estonia).
The online training was opened by Snežana Nikčević, the National Coordinator of the ICEDA project, emphasizing that “technology does not change society, people do it”, people are the ones who bring changes and technology is there to send it all. Most e-services are concentrated on the e-Government portal. At the end of 2019, the portal listed 585 services provided by 51 state institutions. However, only 174 services were electronic in nature, while others were informative, i.e. they provided information on how and where to apply for a service and which documents should be submitted in person as evidence.
When it comes to many existing e-Services in the Western Balkans, the digital cycle is not fully implemented, and eServices are offered only in one of the first three phases of this model. E-Services are one of the most effective mechanisms for encouraging transparency and empowering citizens to get involved in the processes that affect their daily lives.
What is being presented today as a statement from the point of view of citizens, NGOs, journalists is misinformation as well as insufficient information of journalists. One of the problems of digitalization is insufficient communication between the administrations themselves, as well as the administrations and the media. Poor site sustainability. Also the quality of the price of the internet, and this is especially pronounced in the rural part.
As far as digital literacy is concerned, the ability not only to use digital tools is important, but also to be familiar with a number of social and ethical practices and issues that are necessary for living and working in a digital society.
Then, Kristina Ćetković, Program Director of the NGO 35mm and coordinator of the PRIME project, said that it is very difficult to function today without digitalization. Ćetković focused on minorities and minority groups. By minority group she meant the LGBT population, women who suffer violence, young people, Roma as well as addicts to psychoactive substances. She pointed out that the media, even when reporting on these groups, discriminate against one group.
Ćetković cited as an example women who suffer violence, as well as the fact that women are discriminated against by the media. And that some bigger problem needs to happen in order to write about these women. As if showing Turkish series leads to mistreatment of women.
“If we do not have citizens who will have the skills and knowledge but also the awareness to use these electronic services, then in fact the development of e-government remains just a letter on paper.”