Albanian Media Institute launched the report “Albanian media scene vs. European Standards” on April 24 in Tirana. The report, supported financially by the Embassy of the Netherlands, is an assessment of the media situation in the country, following the Council of Europe’s Indicators for media in a democracy. The study concludes that only a few of the 27 principles have been consistently implemented in Albania. While Albanian legislation has been mostly harmonized to European regulation, the enforcement of the principles does not always measure up to their standards, due to incomplete or inconsistent legal regulation, weakness of institutions that enforce them, as well as the influence of other economic or political actors, along with the economic and social status of journalists.
Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania stressed the importance of free media in a democracy and the support that the Netherlands provides to civil society and free media. “Journalists should be able to speak their minds freely and have time and space to investigate into stories that are important to the public,” she states in the foreword to the study. During the meeting she said that such studies could be periodical, highlighting the importance of regular assessment of media freedom in the country.
Remzi Lani, director of the Albanian Media Institute, said that Albania lacks a cohesive media strategy or policy and such reports could be useful in adopting a more research-based policy approach for overall approach to media. The report’s main findings were introduced by Ilda Londo, researcher at Albanian Media Institute. The contributors to the study also intervened, including Dorian Matlija from Respublica, Aleksandër Çipa from Union of Albanian Journalists, Aleksandra Bogdani from BIRN Albania, Rrapo Zguri from Department of Journalism at University of Tirana, and Blendi Salaj from Media Council.