The Ethical Media Alliance established in Albania

 
 19 Albanian media established today the Alliance for Ethical Media, a self-regulatory mechanism in the Albanian journalism community. By signing a Memorandum of Understanding establishing this initiative, representatives of these media also invited all other local media to join this alliance for ethical self-regulation.

Koloreto Cukali, one of the initiators of the Alliance, and head of the Albanian Media Advisory, in addition to some previous ideas, today's media self-regulation initiative received a major boost from the government's efforts to regulate the media with so-called anti-defamation packages.

“The Albanian citizen will have the opportunity to complain about the media members of the Alliance. Complaints will be reviewed by a board with integrity, selected by these media outlets, and a solution will be mediated,” said Mr. Cukali.

At this founding meeting of the Alliance, along with many journalists, diplomats from the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the Netherlands participated as advisors.

The EU ambassador to Albania, Luigi Soreca, said that self-regulation is the best way that the EU wants to improve the situation of the Albanian media, about which problems it reports every year.

"The first is the political and economic pressure on the media, the second is the media concentration on fewer owners, transparency of funding, journalists' contracts, as well as internet abuse and freedom of speech. We strongly believe in self-regulation, and we have said this many times in recent months. This meeting today and its commitment to ethics for journalists is a strong signal to everyone in the service of professional and independent journalism, as well as freedom of speech," said Mr. Soreca.

Whereas, Mark Marku, head of the journalism department at the Faculty of Philology of Tirana University, said at the table that the Alliance should be based on strong rules, which should then be applied by people with integrity.

“Despite the denigrations, they receive from various statements, Albanian journalists are the most emancipated category of Albanian journalism. They are aware of their profession, they want to practice their profession well, but they have some obstacles that do not allow them,” said Mr. Marku.


Participants in the meeting said that in addition to addressing complaints that may come from citizens, the Ethical Media Alliance should also take action in this area to break the distrust of others so that as many media as possible become part of this alliance.

She also received today the support of a representative of the Council of Europe, who strongly supports self-regulation, ethics and freedom of speech.

"We will continue and reconfirm our joint engagement with the EU and other international actors to help make ethics more relevant to journalistic work in Albania, both in the capital and in other cities," said Olsi Dekovi, the deputy head of the CoE Office in Albania.

Representatives of the Alliance's initiating media also paid attention to the ethics board, and called for professional and integrity people to be elected.

"This board should be set up with solid people, with integrity and acceptance, because it is important to build a perception of 'who does the trial', who is the referee," said Alfred Lela - administrator of Politiko.al

For more than a year, the Rama government has been arguing with Albanian and international media associations as it drafted and adopted the so-called anti-defamation legal package. The government said it is putting limits on fake news, while, according to media associations, it sets up a censorship office that strikes the media that are not favorite of the government.

The package is still in the offices of parliament and is awaiting a review upon return by the president of the Republic, while a comment from the Venice Commission is also expected to make the final adjustments.

In the end, the group's mentor, Dr. Edlira Mali, congratulated the students for the work done throughout the campaign. She also spoke about the obstacles students have encountered during the campaign, the role that mentors play in such a campaign, and the importance of these campaigns as a whole.
The Ethical Media Alliance established in Albania The Ethical Media Alliance established in Albania Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Rating: 5
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