Recent reports from international organisations and studies in the field of media, have quoted Albanian media as being free from formal censorship and authoritarian repression, but not free from the influences of government, politics and economic interests of media owners. In the European Commission Progress Report for Albania, it is stated: “The lack of transparency of media financing and the interference in the media by political and economic interests remain major challenges.”
Regarding the professional status, journalists in Albania work under difficult circumstances. Almost 90 percent of journalists are working massively undeclared, and receive salaries with delay (1 to 3 months) or sometimes not at all. Fear of losing their job forces them not to raise their voices against the media managers. Contracts are often imposed and formulated in such a way that they have no legal ground.
The need for capable, competent and daring reporters has never been greater, in a society suffering from influenced reporting and enveloped in mundane and prosaic everyday news.
The Albanian Center for Quality Journalism is a non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by young professionals based in Tirana, Albania. The leading team consists of young professionals with a background in media and law. The Center’s key focus is the training and sharing of information among young up and coming investigative and data journalists, and the promotion of ethical journalism through the different mediums available.
Our journalism training reflects the changing face of journalism but is firmly embedded in the values of producing fair and accurate text. For news organizations, this means making sure their journalists are fast, independent, critical and reader oriented.
The main and final objective of the Center is to increase the quality of reporting and writing news, standards of journalism, professional ethics to young journalists, the extension of cooperation efforts with educational / training institutions or other organizations in the field of journalism, to increase the human / professional and material capacities in the field of journalism, for the Republic of Albania; training of journalists in the field of investigation, reporting and writing of long form news; the training of journalists in the use of various means and resources for carrying out the activity of investigating and reporting the news; and the creation of a climate of cooperation between young professionals and the development of workshops and seminars for exchange of information and experiences in the field of journalism.
Our key activities include:
- Providing resources and networking services to well established and up and coming investigative journalists in Albania;
- Publishing in English and Albanian on multiple platforms, using the latest tools, techniques and opportunities for those in the field;
- Organizing and promoting training seminars and workshops on a wide variety of topics, from the right to information and legal protection of journalists, to multimedia tools use and promotion;
- Supporting and promoting best practices in investigative and data journalism;
- Supporting and promoting efforts to ensure free access to public documents and data;
- Providing intermediary and liaison services for visiting journalists and professionals needing specialized local knowledge.
Here’s How We’re Growing
As of October 2017, the Center is engaged in a program on investigative journalism, funded through a generous grant of the US State Department, training young professionals in the field, aiding them with the necessary know how and tools for the successful production of news articles and videos on investigative pieces of their choosing, and promoting independent ethical investigative journalism, in a media landscape which lacks the experience in this field. The essence of the project is for students of journalism and young professionals to delve in quality investigations and journalism, and promote ethical journalistic practices and heightened their will, expertise and legal skills to inquire regarding every day and hard topics.
In March 2018, the Center entered into a partnership with the Voice of America for the production of investigative pieces, touching upon the topics of corruption and customer and citizen rights protection. These videos are being drafted and produced by the students of the Center, with the help of professionals in the field of storytelling, video and photography.
In August 2018, we engaged in a project financed by LevizAlbania and the Swiss Embassy on the issue of awareness raising and engagement of citizens in the decision-making process of local government, through the oversight and examination of infrastructural projects, their necessity, quality and impact in the everyday life of the citizens of Tirana.
In October 2018, the Center entered into a collaboration with the National Public broadcaster (Radiotelevizioni Shqiptar) for the production and broadcast of a 31-minute high-quality biweekly analytical, investigative and dossier-style show of 18 episodes, that seeks to shed light upon and take an in-depth look at issues that are major in terms of public concern, but minor in the way they are covered in the Albanian media at present. The project is based on daily news but does not stop there. It seeks to achieve more, through the analysis of the facts. This analysis will be constructed through the interview of a large number of actors and the examination of the factors leading to an actual event, based on a model of analytical and investigative broadcasting. The range of events and their treatment by the program is unlimited. The content of the show consists of current events from all areas, such as politics, sports, culture and economics. However, the topic will not be part of the general discussion, it will be built on a real, actual specific event. Each episode has its own specificity, depending on the nature of the information obtained and the particular field. The episodes are broadcasted through the national broadcaster, a s well as the media outlets available to the Center.
Material from ACQJ’s website is available for republication under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.
You are welcome to republish stories generated by the ACQJ for non-commercial purposes. However, before using one of our stories, please ask for permission at info(at)qualityjournalism.com.al
When using our stories, you must give appropriate credit to ACQJ and the writer, provide a link to the original story on the ACQJ website and a link to the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. We do not allow changes to our original stories unless we specifically approve. If you have our permission to edit, change or shorten content, please indicate that the story appearing is an edited version of the original story which was first published on ACQJ’s website. Please also be sure to include this text on your page: “This story was originally published by the Albanian Center for Quality Journalism.”