Standards of press freedom in Albania are “worsening”

Standards of press freedom in Albania are
Photo: Monique Snijder - Unsplash

A group of seven media freedom organisations have held a press conference in the Albanian capital of Tirana in which they have warned that despite some progress, the situation for free and independent reporting in the country is deteriorating. 

The group stated that whilst there exists an “adequate” legal framework to establish free journalism, the country has made no progress in improving the environment for independent and watchdog journalism nor media pluralism. 

The comments come following a two-day fact-finding mission to Albania by Article 19, the International Press Institute, the European Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, the European Broadcasting Union and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.

The group did acknowledge that there had been progress in recent years, pointing to the withdrawal of a planned bill on anti-defamation and investigations by police into attacks on journalists. However, after conducting their research they reported that the widespread perception among those they had met with was that “the climate for free and independent reporting is worsening in Albania”. 

The Prime Minister Edi Rama has long had a difficult relationship with the media. Earlier this year he ordered two journalists to undergo “re-education”, which meant they were not able to attend his press conferences nor put questions to him for a certain period. 

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