Copyright: Albanian Media Institute - Instituti Shqiptar i Medias, 2011
Although some of the basic textbooks published until now cover the main principles of journalism, new publications are needed to provide a fresh and up-to-date perspective on the new developments of the profession and also the role of the new media and social media in a democracy. The lack of new textbooks not only hampers the academic development of journalism students; it also is a hindrance for working journalists and their further qualification. While they have the possibility to work and improve their knowledge on field, there is the risk of obtaining deformed knowledge, not based on sound theoretical foundations.
In this context, Albanian Media Institute will complete the publication of a new series of textbooks that will cover recent trends and developments in journalism profession, filling in this way the void of literature in this area. AMI has selected a list of potential textbooks having in mind the current needs, global developments of the profession, and experience in this area until now.
This project is supported by the
U.S. Embassy in Tirana.
PUBLICATION OF A SERIES OF TEXTBOOKS ON NEW MEDIA, SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITALIZATION
IMPROVING ACCESS TO INFORMATION FOR MEDIA AND CITIZENS
Overall, the quality of the legal framework on access to information may be considered generally satisfactory, although by no means perfect. However, there is a stark discrepancy between the standards of the FOIA and its actual implementation. In general people do not believe that they can obtain information simply by filing a request. Also, public officials have not shown to fully know or comply with the law, as demonstrated by the internal regulations of those institutions in this respect.
According to Madrid-based Access Info, Albania ranks as one of the bottom ten countries in the world regarding Access to Information. According to a recent survey carried out by AMI on the FOIA implementation, there are numerous problems with accessing official documents in Albanian public administration.
This project seeks to raise awareness among the media and public on access to information as a constitutional right applicable by all, as well as assist investigative journalism in its efforts to increase transparency of government. The project activities consist in workshops for journalists on applying FOIA in their work, training courses related to use of FOIA and other tools to strengthen investigative journalism, roundtable discussions on implementation of FOIA and transparency between media, citizens, and public officials, empowerment of the public and the media to apply FOIA, and monitoring the implementation of FOIA and transparency of the judicial system and the public administration.
The project is supported by Civil Rights Defenders
JOURNALISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS WEEKS
The knowledge of Albanian journalists in human rights is inadequate. While it can be said that there is awareness and sensitivity to political rights, when it comes to social and civil rights, awareness and sensitivity are scarce. As a matter of fact most of the journalists’ knowledge of human rights is limited. Moreover, Albanian media tends to prioritize political parties over the people, at the cost of reports on social issues, problems of minorities. In this way, marginalized groups and minorities tend to disappear even more.
In the recent years, AMI has focused on some projects related to anti-discrimination and reporting diversity. However, there is a need for further focusing on the topic of reporting through a human rights and anti-discrimination angle.
The project aims to improve media coverage and professional and ethical reporting on human rights, minorities, and marginalized groups in Albanian media. The project adopts a three-year approach, proposing the development of seven training modules that target human rights in general and particular rights of marginalized groups and minorities, aiming to improve media coverage of these groups in the future.
The project is supported by Civil Rights Defenders
MAPPING DIGITAL MEDIA FOLLOW-UP
After drafting an extensive report for the situation on digitalization, news, and information in Albania, as part of the global initiative report "Mapping Digital Media," Albanian Media Institute has prepared a set of follow-up activities, based on the main findings and recommendations of the report and of the discussion with stakeholders. The follow-up of the report is intended as a multi-disciplinary approach, ranging from more in-depth research to policy discussions and creating platforms for discussions and reflections on media trends.
More specifically, the project consists of the following components:
- Translation and official launch of the report;
- Establishment of network of researchers and follow-up of the report;
- Media Monitor;
- Online magazine on media developments, trends, and challenges;
- A series of roundtables on media policy.
This project is supported by Open Society Institute Europe Foundation.
TOWARDS MORE PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL MEDIA
The project aims to improve media professionalism through alternative means of expression, by attempting to initiate a professional debate within the media community, by raising awareness on media regulation, and by identifying problems related to hate speech in the media.
The project components will be the following:
- Establishing the blog “Media on Media,” which will include essays and articles related to media professionalism;
- Media monitoring regarding hate speech;
- Organization of training courses on media legal reform, as well as organization of a more general roundtable on the topic.
This project is supported by Open Society Foundation Albania.
SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN MEDIA OBSERVATORY: BUILDING CAPACITIES AND COALITIONS FOR MONITORING MEDIA INTEGRITY AND ADVANCING MEDIA REFORMS
The project aims to nurture and foster prominent role of civil society in the media reform processes in the countries of South East Europe. It also aims at informing and sparkling public debates on media freedom and pluralism, particularly addressing impact of media ownership and political clientelism, and at influencing media sector reform processes through developing media integrity index, regional media observatory, consultations and coalitions.
The project will establish common, systematic approach at regional level in order to tackle the issue of media integrity. In order to have an impact and wide acceptance the strategy will include a number of stakeholders; namely independent state bodies, media regulators and self regulatory bodies, media industry, investigative journalists, journalists associations, all of them being crucial players in tackling media integrity.
The project brings together CSOs from IPA countries and from two EU member neighbouring countries - Slovenia and Hungary, both with experience of media transition and ability to contribute to media reforms in the region by presenting lessons learned from successes and failures in democratic transition of media sector. AMI is one of the partners of this regional project, led by Peace Institute, Ljubljana.
MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY IN SEE
The project Media Accountability in South East Europe, with the joint participation of UNESCO and the European Commission, aims at fostering strong attention to freedom of expression, press freedom and freedom of information, and at strenghtening media accountability and transparency in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yougoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey, Serbia and Kosovo (UNSCR1244). The actions proposed will build upon existing local and regional networks and will be inplemented in cooperation with other media actors. In this context, the Albanian Media Institute will be responsible for the coordination of two initiatives enhancing professional standards and media accountability: conducting research on online hate speech and establishing pilot ombudsmen in selected media outlets.