Researching and reporting on issues others want to remain silent about is what Hanja Micovic lives for. For years, the 25-year old journalist has been investigating the dark spots of her home country, Montenegro. “I always wanted to become a journalist to uncover and talk about problems in our society,” she says.
Micovic started to work as a journalist during high school. In the following years she worked for newspapers and radio stations, before she switched to television. “I always wanted to push for change in my country and this is my way to do it,” she says.
Her topics usually revolve around cultural and social issues. “I’m always looking for sub-cultures and alternative movements that exist beside the mainstream.” Her country has faced huge changes and challenges during the last decade. Young people are struggling to find their place in this new society. Bloggers, NGOs and activists often face a steep uphill battle in their calls for change. Micovic accompanies them on this path through her documentation of their efforts.
“As an individual you have only limited possibilities to change your environment, while you are often much stronger as a group. This is something we can learn from the Arab Spring,” she says. “That is why I want to tell the people about the problems in our country so we can cooperate and work towards change.”
Despite her optimism, she understands the large obstacles she faces. One recent example was her work concerns the state of the LGBT community in Montenegro. “We compared their situation in Slovenia and Montenegro and saw that the differences are huge. It is much worse in our country”, Micovic says. “We interviewed our Minister of Minorities and he just said that there was no LGBT community in our country. That is absurd!”
While investigating another case, Micovic criticized rampant nepotism in the Ministry of Culture. “Many employees in this ministry belong to the same family. The outcome is that big shares of the cultural funding is not distributed to the best and most creative artists, but to members of that family”, Micovic found out during her research.
But all these problems do not hamper her enthusiasm, “I believe that many people in Montenegro and all over the world want change and that they are willing to fight to it. Me as well!”