The Albanian Journalist who Works for CNN

The Albanian Journalist who Works for CNN
Prifti and her parents

 Is an Albanian lady and since 15 years is living in the United States. As of 8 years is working in the giant network of CNN. It is about Alba Prifti. She moved with the family to America when he was 15 years old and in high school her dream was CNN. After graduating, the dream became reality. He had great intentions, but luck experience, which was necessary to enter into this newsroom. However, she says, "the fact that I was in the building of CNN was was an advantage." Currently, she is part of the department called "International newsgathering", where her job is to gather information, details, photos, videos for latest news from the world. This department is the first point of contact between journalists scattered around the world and the CNN center in Atlanta. In an interview to "Shekulli" Alba tells how he came to be part of the department of CNN, recalling moments of leaving Albania and the arrival in the United States.

When you left Albania?

I left at 11 March 2000. After a 1.5-year process of making the documents and interviews, and then with my family moved to Lakewood, Ohio.

You have memories from that period when you were here?

I have many memories, because I was 15 when I left. Many things that are part of the foundation of my character to this day, are a result of the Albanian environment and culture. The most beautiful memories are those of the school, growing close relatives and friends. The summer months that I was in the village of grandfather with my sister and my cousins. Being so far away from everyone made me to appreciate even more those memories.

How was your life here, adolescence, studies?

Most of my teenager I have spent here in America. In Tirana I remember those days when just begun to rebelling, when I begun attending coffee-rooms near tho school during the day. While the part that I lived here, was completely different. I had to grow up prematurely in a way, to help parents who do not speak good English. At first we went everywhere together. To buy car, to buy food, to the park to have fun. In each place and for every thing, my sister and I were the main support for our parents, and so they ours.

How did you thought America and how did you find it?

As happens in these cases, I thought that America would be like in the movies. I expected to see Zak Morris in the school hallways and a tropical weather like Baywatch. I thought I had many friends with blond hair and blue eyes. Then, when the plane landed in early March and the was still pretty snow everywhere, all my dreams were broken. Lakewood, close to Lake Erie (sized as the Adriatic Sea) and more to the North, was always very cold until April. In school, I had difficulty with language and culture. In a large high school like the one I attended, it was difficult for me to make immediately close friendship.

How did you reached to work for CNN?

Since high school I CNN was my dream. I never mind that I would be admitted without any work experience and therefore it did not apply at all. But a good friend who was studying to become a priest at the same university, encouraged me to try. CNN provides jobs for newly graduated students, beginners, and so I entered.

What were the difficulties encountered at the beginning?

At first, I wanted to do more, but I had few options. Because I knew no one in different sectors of CNNI and I had to move forward. This may have discouraged me, but when I thought I had a good chance to thrust roots in one of the largest media organisation, Ideas and forces came to me to change the things. I began to ask colleagues and employees of the cafe "Starbucks" for references. I began to contact journalists, directors, editors working in multi-storey building of CNN, to start the conversation with: "We do not know each other, but here I introduce myself now ....". I will not mention here the difficulty of being 12 hours away from parents and sister. He missed them infinitely, although I see them more often now. But at that time, my wage was tiny but my dreams very big dreams.

Tell us more about your work ...

I work with a lot of passion. As editor of the news from the world, the main responsibility is to collect information and news, wherever they occur. Almost all my colleagues speak a second language and third and all together, we collect and process various news topics. This includes editing of visual materials such as videos and photos. For example, when the earthquake in Japan in 2011, it was my sector that was involved with the preparation of photos and videos, which was later broadcasted on television and published on the website.


Would you ever return to serve in journalism here? I am proud of my origins and I would be so proud to work as a journalist in Albania, but now my life is here. If I return  I would start from the beginning in Tirana and this kind of decision requires courage, that I did not have right now. How would you qualify a journalist work, comparison in these two countries? It is difficult to compare US with Albanian journalism. They vary widely. But what I wish to continue to push forward the journalists is the desire to inform the public and the preservation of the truth.
The Albanian Journalist who Works for CNN The Albanian Journalist who Works for CNN Monday, January 25, 2016 Rating: 5
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