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The Albanian Media Institute is presenting you with the Albanian Media Newsletter. This electronic monthly newsletter tries to keep you updated on the developments of the Albanian media and training activities for journalists at the Albanian Media Institute and elsewhere in Albania. We attempt to provide a glimpse on the evolution of the Albanian media landscape, bringing closer to you the media situation in our country, hoping to provide useful information.
AMI NEWSLETTER - January 2015
TRAINING COURSE ON NEW MEDIA AND LOCAL JOURNALISM
A training course on the topic “New media and local journalism” was organized in Elbasan on January 7-9, with the participation of 14 journalists from the local media. The training course discussed with the journalists the current development of journalism as a profession, addressing the range of problems journalists face, especially in local media. Participants also discussed the emergence and development of new media, its values, challenges, and expectations, focusing on the way the work of journalists has been transformed. The efficacy of new media in testing opinion of citizens and confronting it to traditional sources of information was another topic discussed during the course. The participants also were introduced to the concept of citizen journalist and professional journalist, discussing the differences and opportunities. The lecturer and journalists discussed different ways of incorporating new media in local journalists’ work, such as obtaining new sources of information from the public, making use of opinion of citizens and shaping the reporting, etc. However, the course focused also on the need for local journalists to provide the necessary context and background, independently of the form of publishing or whether the media is traditional or online. This course was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of the US Embassy.
SEMINAR ON BALKANS AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
A seminar on the topic of Balkans and European integration was organized on January 29-30, with the participation of journalists and editors from print and electronic media. the main aim was to discuss the different stages of development in terms of progress to EU integration from all countries in the Balkans and to analyze common traits and challenges. Specific attention was paid to analysis of current affairs, such as elections in Greece and potential impact on Albania, focusing on the anti-establishment result of voting, the future relation of Greece to EU, and the Albanian-Greek relations. Given the recent events, the lecturers also discussed the situation in Kosovo, focusing on the prolonged government crisis, the relations with the West and the process of negotiations with Serbia. The specific relations of Albania with Serbia and the situation in Macedonia were also discussed against the background of the ongoing processes for EU integration.
The lecturers also addressed in detail the current context of the European Union and is relations with Balkan countries, including the different speeds in the integration process. The discussion was put in the context of a current enlargement fatigue, noting that there are notes of stagnation. The internal problems of Balkan countries also affect the slowing down of this process, along with the sluggish reforms. Specific attention was paid to the position of Serbia in the peninsula, its relations with Russia, and with Kosovo. The course was organized by Albanian Media Institute, with the support of the US Embassy.
TRAINING COURSE ON DIVERSITY AND ROMA AND EGYPTIAN MINORITIES
A training course on improving diversity reporting, specifically focusing on Roma amd Egyptians, was organized on January 26-28, with the participation of journalists from mainstream print and electronic media. The main aim of the course was to introduce the journalists to the most relevant issues related to Roma situation in the country and analyze with them the media coverage on Roma and identify ways to improve it. The lecturers introduced the participants to a brief history of Roma in Albania, the existing stereotypes in society and in media regarding Roma, and addressed specific ways to improve Roma coverage in the media. Specific attention was paid to the language used vis-à-vis Roma, and the space devoted to them in mainstream media. Other important issues discussed including the lack of official statistics on Roma and the way this affects media coverage on them, the official Strategy for the Roma community, the civil society attempts made in this regard, etc. A special analysis was made on media coverage of Roma minority, bringing examples that had sparked media interest on Roma population, and analysing the reasons for this interest and ways to increase and improve media coverage on Roma.
TV DEBATE ON SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVISM IN SHKODRA
The Albanian Media Institute organized a television debate at the University of Shkoder on January 16. The debate addressed the role of different actors in the democratic process, identified the main obstacles and needs and aimed to raise awareness among the local public opinion on the need for greater activism and participation. Participants in the debate included students, local journalists, and representatives of civil society. The debate focused on subjects such as the role of different actors in catering to local communities, such as civil society and media, the impact of national and local media on local communities, the image of these media in the communities, etc. Specific attention was paid to social media and new civic groups in the local level, attempts at activism for local benefit, etc. The debate was broadcast by local television TV Channel1. The organization of the debate was supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy.
TRAINING COURSE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS AND LOCAL JOURNALISTS
A training course on the topics “Social networks and local journalists” was organized in Lezha on January 14-16, with the participation of 14 local reporters and editors. The aim of the training course was to introduce local journalists to the existing possibilities and practices in the field of social networks as a source of information, or as a way to explore the audience trends. The participants became familiar to the different ways of promoting and publishing media outlets through the social networks, to the establishment of institutional profiles and pages for the media in these networks, to their exploration for news marketing and distribution, by using networks such as Facebook or Twitter as channels for guiding the audience towards their websites with local news. The course also focused on the ethical range of problems that emerges with the social networks, focusing on such phenomena as violation of privacy, identity theft, use of social networks for viral marketing or personal assaults, use of hate speech, etc. This course was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of the US Embassy.
TRAINING COURSE ON IMPROVING REPORTING OF VULNERABLE GROUPS
A training course aiming to improve reporting of vulnerable groups in the media was organized on January 21-23, with the participation of journalists from mainstream print and electronic media. The course focused specifically on reporting issues related to terminal patients and palliative care. For this purpose, lecturers came both from public health field and from the media. Journalists became familiar with the way palliative care is regulated in the country, focusing on public health principles and the existing processes in this field. Specific attention was paid in explaining the principles, objectives, and policies related to palliative care. In addition, participants were briefed on the existing services on palliative care, the organization of these services, and the need to raise awareness on the service. Attention was also paid to the need to raise awareness on the media in this regard, focusing on the needs and policies that surround palliative care, making it part of the public debate. Specific cases reported in the media were analyzed and journalists and experts discussed recommendations on how to improve reporting in this field. The course was organized by Albanian Media Institute, with the support of Soros Foundation.
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