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Copyright: Albanian Media Institute - Instituti Shqiptar i Medias, 2011
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EU Investigative Journalism Award Launched
KonkursiThe EU Investigative Journalism Award was launched on March 17 at the EU Info Center in Tirana. Participants included journalists, media experts, university professors, and civil society representatives. They become familiar with the award initiative, the criteria for submissions, practical details for applications, and the general scheme of awarding investigative journalists in the region. Clive Rumbold, Head of Political, Economic and Information section at the EU Delegation in Albania, greeted the initiative to award such a scheme. He emphasized the importance of investigative journalism in a democratic society and reiterated the EU commitment to media freedom as a fundamental value. Lutfi Dervishi, media expert, emphasized the significance of this award in the region, highlighting it as an excellent opportunity for investigative journalists and as a way to support and foster the most valuable and qualitative reporting in the country. Ilda Londo, representative of the Albanian Media Institute, disclosed the details on the application process and the award scheme. The call will be opened until April 17, 2015. For further details, follow this link:

RaportiGentian Sala, chair of Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) presented a summary of AMA-s 2014 annual report to media outlets. Sala focused on the range of problems the institution faces and shortcomings from last year, on AMA's current work plans, and especially on digital switchover process. More specifically, the chairman reported that AMA has had serious shortcomings in carrying out its functions and duties in 2014, facing different problems. According to the report, there have been serious shortcomings in administering the spectrum of frequencies, resulting in illegal occupation and use of this spectrum from audiovisual media operators. In addition, a significant number of operators fails to comply with the legislation (failure to pay financial dues, broadcasting outside their licensed area, failure to meet license obligations, etc.) Another significant deficiency of AMA has been the failure to approve secondary legislation, due to lack of quorum. Sala reported that efforts of the institution in this period have focused on consultation meetings with national operators and cable operators, trying to improve partnership between AMA and the operators. He also said that AMA is working to adapt new regulations to the technological requirements, while also improving the transparency of the institution mainly through re-organization of its website.

AMA has also started procedures to establish the new Council of Complaints, as well as the efforts to apply for funding on a project that would modernize the monitoring studio. Sala paid special attention to digital switchover process, in view of the fast approaching deadline and the complexity of the situation. While stating that all efforts are being made to realize this process within the June 17 deadline, he was pessimistic that digital switchover would be completed in all the territory within this date, saying that the aim was to cover the largest urban centers by that time. He mentioned that a significant delay and obstacle has been the process of digitalizing the network of public broadcaster RTSH, which has been blocked for a long time due to lawsuits and delayed negotiations.
AMA Chair presents the annual report to media outlets
Training course on online media literacy
Training"Online media literacy" was the topic of the course organized at the Albanian Media Institute on March 23-26, with the participation of journalists and online activists. The participants became acquainted with the notion of media literacy in four main aspects: gaining knowledge on media and its functions, using media interactively, personal creativity in media, and media critique. The lecturer and participants discussed the role of mass media vis-a-vis the public, the education and awareness of the public on media, social media, and new forms of communication, and the degree of existing media literacy efforts. Specific attention was paid to online communication, user-generated content, the emergence of online platforms, the role of social media, and online activism. The participants discussed in details with the lecturer the main trends of online media: interactivity, multimedia, and hypertext, and ways they can incorporate these features in everyday work. The public's role and contribution to reporting, along with the debate on citizen reporting were also discussed, as well as notions of info-obesity, credibility issues, and ethical problems that emerge with the online activity. The course was organized from Albanian Media Institute with the support of EU.
RTSH presents annual report to parliamentary commission on media
RTSHThe Parliamentary Commission on Media convened a hearing session on annual report of public broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH.) Martin Leka, acting director of RTSH, briefly presented main activities, challenges, and achievements of year 2014. Among achievements he mentioned the increase in budget size and its management, a more balanced editorial policy of news and current affairs programs, and more diverse and creative programs. He emphasized one of the biggest current challenges, the digital switchover process, which has long been delayed after legal disputes with a tender that started in 2013. Another major concern is the failure to elect the members of Steering Council, which further delays this process, and other ones.

The discussions in the commission focused on several related challenges of RTSH, such as area covered with signal, human resources, independence of editorial policy, programming structure with digital switchover, financing sources, and impact of lack of Steering Council. The meeting was boycotted by opposition MPs as a sign of protest for the recent developments in the parliament.
Course on professional skills of interviewing
Interviewing techniques training was the topic of the professional skills training that took place at the Albanian Media Institute on March 9-11, with the participation of 15 journalists from several media outlets. The main objective of the course was to provide journalists with advanced professional skills regarding interviewing techniques, since this is the basic everyday work done by journalists. In the course the participants became familiar with the main steps involved in the process, such as researching the topic or interviewee, determining the main lines of the interview, as well as preparing for unexpected course of the interview or risks that might come up. The kinds of questions asked, the background of the interview, importance of body language, and warning to avoid influence of personal convictions were some other topics covered during the course. Journalists also had sessions of reporting on field, where they were able to practice and improve the skills learned in the course. This training course was organized by Albanian Media Institute, with the support of EU.