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Five EU-supported projects in the media field start implementation

In the framework of the project "Towards improved labor relations and professionalism in the Albanian Media", supported by European Union, the Albanian Media Institute, in co-operation with International Federation of Journalists, selected five projects of Albanian media associations and organizations among the applications for the first call of sub-grants within this project.

The Union of Albanian Journalists will implement the project "Creating a panoramic review of the media job market in Albania". The project aims, on one hand, to create a unique comprehensive panoramic review and statistical report, and, on the other hand, to raise awareness about the endemic problems that affect Albanian journalists and editors, and inform policy and decision-making.

The project activities will include the gathering of direct statistics from outlets, media administrators, judicial courts, and the local branches of the UAJ, the collection of data on journalists' salary delays in 2019, the listing of all the movements and changes in the editorial structures and the media scene for 2019, and the combination of all data in order to create a unique panoramic review about the on-the-ground situation of Albanian journalists. The report will be presented in the four largest Albanian cities: Tirana, Korca, Shkodra, and Durres, as well as in the relevant parliamentary commissions. The report will also be followed by an intensive media information campaign, in order to disseminate the findings and raise awareness on situation of journalists. (Union of Albanian Journalists website: http://unionigazetareve.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/UnioniIGazetareveShqiptare/ )

BIRN Albania will implement the project "Raising Critical Awareness on Internet Governance in Albania." Through this project, BIRN Albania's goal is to contribute to a new reflection on media policies and media development related to internet governance in the country. The first objective of the project is to review the current landscape of Internet governance in Albania, including various existing legal, technical, corporate, and human rights initiatives relevant to journalism and media, and explore the primary issues and processes that overlap between media development and Internet governance. The second objective is to increase critical understanding and public debate on how internet governance related policies and practices can influence media professionalism and development.

BIRN Albania and its experts will focus on literature review of the existing international best studies and practices in assessing the interlinks between media development and internet governance, as well as all the relevant local documents, reports and regulatory framework. The work will continue with the establishment of the advisory group and the process of data gathering to respond to the main research questions. The report produced will be consulted with the advisory group and BIRN will also seek innovative methods of presenting results through various visualizations of data, blogs and short videos on Reporter.al and its social media networks. The results will also be presented in a more traditional way, through thematic articles, one for each topic of the research, as well as a final roundtable to disseminate the printed version of the report. (BIRN Albania website: www.reporter.al, FB: https://www.facebook.com/birninalbania/ )

Albanian Media Council will implement the project "Self-regulation ─ ACT 1". The main goal of the project is to enhance the understanding of the general public about self-regulation on one hand and the consolidation of the Albanian Media Council on the other. The aim of the Project is to create an extensive database of the breaches of the code of ethics and make it available online.

The project will continue to gather the data on the breaches of the Code of Ethics for four more months. The monitoring will include 30 major news portals. The findings will be made easily accessible to the public. Based on these data, a study will be produced with the respective findings and recommendations, and it will be presented to media professionals. The project will also produce promotional materials for self-regulation and Code of Ethics in especially 4 targeted info/motion-videos. AMC intends to produce four info-graphics with a high production value and promote them until they go viral in social media. Project will support also monthly meetings of the Board of Ethics, which will address complaints and also discuss the findings from the Monitoring team of the Media Observatory. (Albanian Media Council website: http://kshm.al/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/AlbanianMediaCouncil/ )

The Albanian Center for Quality Journalism, in cooperation with Faktoje, will implement the project "Facts and the Environment: The enhancement of technical expertise of media professionals on fact checking and environmental journalism". One of the project objectives is raising of professional standards in the field of fact checking journalism on public statements and claims, and combating fake news and the spread of content of dubious veracity or unverified origin. Another objective is creating a cadre of experts in environmental journalism based on the international and domestic legislation on the issue and the best practices in the field.

The project objectives will be achieved through the accomplishment of the Project activities, which will include two capacity building workshops, with the view of raising the professional standards of the selected candidate journalists in the field of fact checking journalism and environmental journalism. The fact checking journalism workshops (10 Days) will include topics such as media bias, conspiracy theories, truthfulness and fact, fact-checking methodology, etc. The environmental journalism workshops (6 days) will include topics such as legal framework, EU and international standards on regulation, relevant institutions and their role, and sharpest environmental problems. Following the training, the participating journalists will work on stories that will involve 6 topics of fact based/ fact checking journalism and 5 topics of environmental journalism. A number of the most important articles will be further complemented by short explanatory videos. (Albanian Center for Quality Journalism website: http://www.qualityjournalism.com.al/ , FB: https://www.facebook.com/QJournalism/, Faktoje website: https://faktoje.al/ and FB: https://www.facebook.com/faktoje/ )

Finally, the Citizens Channel will implement the project "Empower young journalists through promoting professional journalism values (Empower Journalists)." The overall goal of the project is to defend professional journalism values through strengthening capacities of the young journalists and knowledge of the general public on the importance of access to qualitative information.

The project will deliver a platform for e-courses and a 3-day seminar on the rights of journalists, media ethics and professionalism as well as practical knowledge on the topic. The digital platform will provide opportunities for young journalists/ students of journalism to strengthen their skills through capacity-building e-courses, webinars, and additional opportunities that expand their professional networks and skills. Upon completion of the required curriculum, journalists and their media can apply for support of ideas and professional mentoring. Finally, the digital media campaign will be implemented as an intensive online awareness raising campaign by combining different forms of multimedia productions such as: infographics, animation and informational videos. The campaign will consist of: a Communication and dissemination plan; 5 informational multimedia products, on freedom of opinion and expression; 2 interviews with experts, explaining the importance of freedom of expression; at least 10 social media posts promoting the campaign. (Citizens Channel website: https://citizens-channel.com/ , FB: https://www.facebook.com/citizenschannel/ )