FAQ

The below frequently asked questions (FAQ) serve as a general guide about the complaints process and for media organizations on how to respond to a complaint.

For specific information please contact us.

The Complaints Process

1. What types of complaints does the Albanian Media Council takes in consideration?

In accordance with the code of ethics, AMC judges cases of unsatisfied complaints by the public concerning accuracy, fairness and balance in the printed and digital media news report

2. Who can file a complaint about a media organization?

Any interested party, individual or organization impacted by the breaches of code or misuse of the information to a news or opinion article, editorial, photo, or editorial cartoon, can file a complaint to AMC.

3. Do I need to inform the respective media organization first, about my complaint?

Yes. AMC  will take in consideration a complaint after the media organization has been given the opportunity to resolve the complaint but,  the steps taken by the media have failed to resolve the issue.

4. Does the Council address all complaints?

Even though AMC reviews all filed complaints, to act on it, a complaint must focus on a specific violation of journalistic or ethical standards. Complaints that involve legal action or breaches of legal nature are not within the scope of the AMC adjudications. AMC decides on absolute discretion about dealing or not to deal with a complaint.

5. Where can I get information about the code of ethics in Albania?

You can find a copy of the code of ethics in Albania in our website.

6. Can you enforce a media organization that refuses to print my letter to the editor?

Media organizations are not obliged to publish every letter received, and AMC does not impose them to do so.

7. What if the media organisation publish an edited version of my letter to editor or comment?

AMC may consider complaints only in the event when editing has altered the broad meaning of the letter or comment.

8. How is my complaint handled?

AMC gets information on the complaint and media response. If after the mediation the complaint is not resolved, a recommendation drafted by the Media Council will be referred to the Board of Ethics for consideration.
After careful review the Board of Ethic will decide how to proceed.
The Board of Ethics may also make a finding based on the corrective action taken by the media, which means, it may relate to a situation where a complaint was founded but corrective action was taken by the media after AMC involvement.
A complaint may also be resolved through a hearing session.

9. Do I need a lawyer?

No. The AMC is not a court of law and will not accept legal submissions from either side. The AMC considers the breaches of code and journalistic standard based on the Code of Ethic (2006).

10. Is there any fee required for considering the complaint?

No, there is no charge to file a complaint, for mediation or for a hearing.

11. What do you ask the media to do if my complaint is endorsed?

The Media will publish the hearing report if the Board of Ethic finds in favour of the complainant.

For Media Organisation: How to respond to a complaint

12. What should a member media do if it receives a complaint?

First it has to communicate with the complainant to see if the problem can be resolved. After the complaint is forwarded, the media should responded within 15 days to the complainant. A copy must be sent to the AMC. If after that time there has been no resolution, the complaint process will proceed to Council for consideration by the Board of Ethic.

13. What happens when the Council makes a decision?

If after consideration, a complaint is upheld, a fair report should be published by the media, which includes the text of the decision.
Media may publish a report even when a complaint has been dismissed, or publish a link to the AMC decision. Members are encouraged to report on all hearing decisions of the AMC.

Council Hearings

14. What happens during a hearing session?

If after consideration, a complaint is upheld, a fair report should be published by the media, which includes the text of the decision.
In the event that a hearing is held, the complainant and the news organization are invited to present their views in brief presentation in front of the Board of Ethic.
Members of the Board of Ethic will have opportunity to question both parties, and both parties will be allowed to make final statements. All comments will be addressed.

15. Who are the members of the hearing panel?

The panel is composed by the Board of Ethic, professionals representing the public and media but not employed by any media involved in the complaint.

16. Will AMC provide the opportunity to meet the reporter or columnist I am complaining about?

There is no obligation for the columnist or reporter to attend the hearing. They can be represented by the media. The Board of Ethic considers a complaint to be against the media, not against a member of its staff.

17. When will the result of the hearing be ready?

The Board of Ethic will take its recommendation to the AMC. The decision will then be communicated to the parties. If the complaint is upheld, it must be published in the news media organization, and a copy of the adjudication will be distributed for publication and posted on the AMC website. AMC decisions on hearings are final. There is no appeal process.