Representatives of local media organizations, media associations, journalists, and civil society activists gathered on April 13 in Tirana in the kick-off event of the project “Towards improved labour relations and professionalism in the Albanian media.” The project will be implemented by the Albanian Media Institute and International Federation of Journalists, with the support of the European Union. The Project objective is to support media organizations and professional journalist associations’ capacities to strengthen professional standards, ethics, and promote and protect the right to freedom of expression. In addition, the project aims to support CSO initiatives to advocate for improved labor standards and promote laws, standards, and practices that protect freedom of opinion and expression.
During the event AMI representatives presented the project objectives, activities, and target groups, providing information that was of interest to the stakeholders present in the meeting. Jonas Sumares, attache at the Political, Economic, and Information Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, gave an overview of the main trends and priorities in EU assistance to Albania and particularly to the media section. The project initiated will combine components that map situation of labour relations and assess the needs and capacities of media associations, with components that aim to raise capacities of journalist associations based on their needs. In addition, the project foresees the launching of two rounds of sub-granting schemes for journalist associations and media organizations, which is supposed to provide support for the strengthening and further professionalization of these associations and organizations and media in general. The participants in the event welcomed the idea of such an initiative, stressing that the attempt to have an all-encompassing project in terms of monitoring, research, and training, is always needed in the Albanian media context. They also stressed the importance of assisting small local organizations, especially in small cities, which face greater isolation and pressure compared to larger cities. The project is funded by European Union.