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Copyright: Albanian Media Institute - Instituti Shqiptar i Medias, 2011
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Investigative Journalism Summer School
Summer SchoolAlbanian Media Institute organized a two-week investigative journalism summer school on June 30-July 11. Participants were 20 reporters, editors and young journalists working on mainstream print and electronic media and online media. Trainers included Sasa Lekovic, director of Center for Investigative Journalism in Croatia, and Albanian journalists and trainers. In this summer school the participants were introduced to the main principles of investigative journalism, such as use of sources and their attribution, interviewing techniques, establishment of pool of contacts and databases, corroboration of information, in-depth reporting, etc.

Other topics addressed were related to the investigative role of the journalist, presenting different methods of gathering information. The course also provided a brief history of investigative journalism, bringing practical examples both from Albania and abroad. Further on, the lectures continued with instruction on how to draft and follow an investigative story, including both advantages and risks of this genre of journalism. Part of the lectures involved an introduction to the Law on Access to Information and how it helps investigative journalists, as well as an introduction and discussion to the code of investigative reporting. Finally, the main challenges involved regarding investigative reporting in the country were also discussed with the participants. This training course was organized by Albanian Media Institute with the support of the EU.
KrastevThe Albanian version of "In mistrust we trust: Can democracy survive when we don't trust our leaders?" is the latest publication of Albanian Media Institute. The author of the book is well-known political commentator Ivan Krastev. In this book he explores this incongruity between our political head and heart. There has been a profound decline of the public's trust in the performance of public institutions, he notes, which is an outcome of the voters' sense of their lost power. Tech tools may help provide some openness to the machinations of the political machine, but they may just be putting a Band-Aid on an open wound. Ultimately, Krastev ponders whether we can enjoy the many rights of our society without enjoying real political choice or power. The publication was presented in a public event on July 3. Present was the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, members of his cabinet, representatives of the opposition, members of the diplomatic corpus, well-known journalists and commentators, and representatives of civil society.
A training course on blogosphere and online journalism was organized at Albanian Media Institute on July 14-18, with the participation of journalists from print, electronic, and online media. The course started by discussing the role of blogs as a different way of disseminating information, as well as blogging as an additional element in promoting free speech and serving as democratic platform. An analysis of Albanian media websites that have their own forums and blogs with the participants followed. The lecturers and participants focused especially on potential cases of violation of ethics, use of hate speech, open-minded discussion vis-a-vis propaganda, accuracy vis-a-vis gossip, public interest versus sensationalism, etc. Albanian journalists were introduced during the course to main principles of blogging as a new form of reporting and debate. The participants became familiar with the main sites which create the best place and services for them, in the way that they can create their own web-blogs. This course was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of EU.

Publication and presentation of "In mistrust we trust"
Debate on Media and European Integration
A debate with representatives of the Albanian media was organized on July 15 in light of Albania being granted EU candidate status. The debate "What's in it for me?" addressed how this new phase in Albania-EU relations will affect the professional careers of journalists. The meeting also featured speeches by Klajda Gjosha, the Albanian Minister of EU Integration and Clive Rumbold, Charge d'Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Albania. Both speakers underlined the importance of advancing freedom of speech and media freedom as cornerstones of European values, while emphasizing the need to create a healthy environment for media freedom.

"Albania has now entered a new phase in its journey towards EU integration," Mr Rumbold said in his speech. "I believe that this in the right moment to reinforce the fact that freedom of expression and media freedom are key indicators of a country's readiness to become part of the EU." He went on to point out the new agenda for media freedom and integrity, which is part of the DG Enlargement guidelines for EU support to the media in enlargement countries. The meeting concluded with a Q&A session between the journalists and the panel and was broadcasted live by various TV broadcasters.
Training course on blogosphere and online journalism
Training course on journalists and labour relations
USA ReportA training course on labor relations and their enforcement in the media was organized on July 21-25 at the Albanian Media Institute. The course aimed for journalists to become familiar with the existing legislation regarding labor relations and the situation of its implementation. The lecturers explained to participants the main legal provisions in this area, including the Constitution, the international treaties and conventions, the Code of Labour, and other relevant laws. The main issues addressed were related to the work contracts, salaries, vacation time, working conditions, etc. Aleksander Cipa, head of the trade union "Union of Journalists," also addressed this issue, focusing on the situation of trade union movement in the country. He discussed with the journalists the reasons why this movement has been so weak and the attempts to strengthen it, especially in negotiations with the Ministry of Labour for enforcing work contracts in the media area. The participants presented their concerns regarding the fact that most of them lack work contracts and hence security regarding their jobs. Participants were journalists and editors from mainstream media. The course was organized by AMI, with the support of Civil Rights Defenders.