We are living the time of the global degradation of Press Freedom in a large part of the world, but it is more vulnerable in countries with unconsolidated democracies, such as Albania.
The biggest problems facing journalism, journalists and the public today are:
1. The massive production of biased reporting, the so-called fake news, which by ironically are produced by those who use the term fake-news the most, the administrative power, mainly the Government and the Municipality (of Tirana).
2. The non-transparent financing of many media, mainly online portals. This money comes often from people in power, wealthy politicians or oligarchs. Often, media freedom is purchased directly through state funding or advertising of large companies.
3. Security of journalists, whether physical or of the job. Journalists are often threatened by the owners of editors to not do their job, or worse, report biased news. They are not protected by contracts, they do not enjoy functional unions and are literally under the mercy of media owners for their survival.
In today’s situation, when the government has drafted a regressive draft-law on media which creates conditions for censorship and self-censorship specifically targeted to online media, the media freedom becomes even more hard to maintain.
The first step towards a process of improving the work of journalists and the media is the creation of legal space for self-regulation of the media (despite attempts by government to regulate it); the creation of unions and the application of collective contracts in every media where journalists work. Without these three conditions we can not expect an improvement of journalist’s work or of media products.