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Copyright: Albanian Media Institute - Instituti Shqiptar i Medias, 2011
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New Code of Ethics and Ethical Guidelines for Online Journalism

The New Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines for Online Journalism were presented at an event organized on March 29, 2018, in Tirana, with the participation of journalists, editors, representatives of regulatory authority, academics, civil society organizations, and media partners and actors in Albania, like OSCE, USAID, OSFA, etc. The final version of these documents went through a process of revision and exchange with similar practices and documents in other countries, as well as through a round of consultations with stakeholders in Albania.

The Roundtable was opened by Remzi Lani, director of Albanian Media Institute, who introduced the work done in the framework of the project and the future use of these two fundamental documents. Olsi Dekovi, Deputy Head of Office of Council of Europe office in Tirana highlighted the support that Council of Europe provides to initiatives relating to media freedom, media ethics, and professionalism, providing also a general overview of the main work being done in this regard in the framework of Council of Europe.

Afterwards, the two authors of the Code of Ethics, Lutfi Dervishi, and Mark Marku, presented the final version of the Code, stressing the efforts to incorporate the valuable feedback of the participants in the consultation process and making also the difference with the previous version of the Code. In addition, Darian Pavli and Blendi Salaj presented the finalized version of the Ethical Guidelines for Online Journalism, focusing on the main issues that online media professionalism presents and how these guidelines tried to address and solve ethical dilemmas in this respect.

The roundtable continued with general discussion on the documents presented and also on the need to implement them in the current stage of media professionalism problems. The definition and role of professional journalists was addressed during the discussion, as well as the possibilities of implementing the Code in the current context of the Albanian media development and the challenges in focusing on ethics when journalists suffer from other problems related to their economic and social status. Finally Koloreto Cukali, director of Media Council, closed the roundtable with a briefing on the commitment of the Media Council to promoting media ethics in the country, based on the revised Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines of Online Journalism.

This effort was part of a project implemented by Albanian Media Institute and the Media Council, with the support of a joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe.
Media for Citizens - Citizens for Media: State of MIL and What is to be Done?

Seventy media and information literacy (MIL) experts, journalists, civil society activists and representatives of education sector and state agencies gathered on 23 November in Novi Sad at a major regional conference on MIL. The event, organized by the Novi Sad School of Journalism, was part of a three year project "Media for Citizens - Citizens for Media," implemented by the members of the Network of Professionalization of Media in South East Europe (SEENPM) in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. The aim of the conference was to establish the current state of MIL in the Western Balkans through analyzing ongoing initiatives, activities and strategies, and to enable experience exchange among actors from different sectors and countries. The event opened by presentation of preliminary results of research, conducted within the project, focused on the analysis of MIL policy and practice in each of the project countries.

The next session continued with the topic of MIL Policy and Practice, aimed at examining whether MIL policies keep up with MIL practice in the region as civil society organizations are often the leaders in advocating MIL and promoting MIL skills and knowledge. The participants at the conference also had the chance to share their own experience and initiatives in the field of media and information literacy. Over three parallel sessions, representatives of media, education, and civil society sectors presented MIL initiatives in their countries, learning from each other's experience.

The project "Media for Citizens - Citizens for Media" will continue until January 2021 with a range of national and regional activities in the Western Balkan countries, including advocacy, media production, publishing, training programs and programs of knowledge and experience exchange, as well as with a program of small grants for MIL initiatives.

For more detailed information on the conference: http://seenpm.org/media-citizens-citizens-media-state-mil-done/

The introductory chapters of the research on MIL: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia .
Three EU-supported projects in the media field start implementation
TrainingIn 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 three 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 "Structuring the Organization with Capacities Against Informality". The project aims, on one hand, to restructure the Union of Albanian Journalists, and, on the other hand, to investigate informality in the work relationships of journalists at the national level and informing institutional decision-making.

Informal employment remains a problem of great concern in Albanian media. In the conditions when the media organization or companies do not release data on employment or other statistical data, including staffing situation, insurances coverage, etc, UAJ will conduct an investigation that will result in initiate in a panoramic and statistical report that will shed light on the current situation in the media labor market.

The change the project aims to achieve cannot be fulfilled without a strong organized Union, which not only would defend the rights of the journalists but also set the example for other associations to follow; creating in this way a chain reaction that would empower journalists. In this context, the Union will aim to boost and expand the local branches for a broader and improved representation in order to face the challenges of an informal media labor market. In addition, the Union will be responsible for structuring its local branches to incorporate journalists of public media and to offer them the possibility of organized self-representation through a formal structure.

Finally, the Union plans to hold elections in the local branches it has in cities other than Tirana. An intensive informative campaign will be implemented by the Union to inform the public on the general goals and activities of the Union of Albanian Journalists and the specific activities of the local branches. (Union of Albanian Journalists website: http://unionigazetareve.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/UnioniIGazetareveShqiptare/ )

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 make the public not only understand what is the self-regulation and the complaining process, but, more importantly, to raise public awareness that self-regulation works only if the public is actively involved in this process.

Project will initiate a Communication/PR campaign for AMC, consisting in visiting various online media offices and explaining them the self-regulation process through informal discussions about the Code of Ethics and Guidelines.

Project will follow with producing promotional materials for self-regulation - especially two targeted info-videos. AMC intends to produce two info-graphics with a high production value and try to make them viral in social media, aiming to reach around 50,000 people for each of the info-graphics. Additional traditional tools of promotion will be also produced, such as leaflets with info-graphics. These will be particularly useful for the visits in the media newsrooms and the Universities. Project consists also in visiting four University Cities (Shkodër, Vlorë, Durrës, Korçë) to promote and discuss with local journalists and students about self regulation. AMC will organize extended discussions with students of journalism and other branches on issues of self-regulation, media literacy and new media. Local journalists will also take part in the discussions.

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/ )

Finally, the Albanian Center for Quality Journalism, in cooperation with the Citizens Channel, will implement the project "Reaching for fair labor conditions: Gazing at the future of Young and Prospective Journalists". The principal goal of the project is raising awareness on the issue of job relations and benefits of young and prospective journalists, and the action for the introduction of legal and administrative remedies for the safeguard of their rights.

This goal will be achieved through the accomplishment of the Project activities, that will include a comprehensive overview of the situation of young and prospective media workers and the conduction of a national survey with young journalists and journalism and mass communication students; carrying out a comprehensive overview of the legal framework granting rights and benefits to journalists, and the best practices implemented in EU Member States for the issue of internships while studying, with a concentration on the aforementioned group of beneficiaries; the accomplishment of an awareness raising campaign on the issues affecting the young journalists, etc.

The project will also include students of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Faculty of History and Philology, University of Tirana; Public Relations Department, Faculty of Political Science and Law, University of Durrës; Department of Literature and Journalism, Faculty of Humanities, University of Elbasan; and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Shkodra.

During the implementation of the different activities envisaged for the realization of the project, it is expected that the working group and staff of the two centers implementing the project, will benefit from the capacity building workshops on the legal and research topics, as well as the networking opportunities provided in the outreach campaign as well as the action for the determination of the cooperating groups of students, media managers and media CSO-s. (Albanian Center for Quality Journalism website: http://www.qualityjournalism.com.al/ , FB: https://www.facebook.com/QJournalism/ )
AMI starts new project on media and justice reform in Albania
logo Albanian Media Institute starts the implementation of the new project on media and justice reform in Albania. This project is supported by the "Civil Society programme for Albania and Kosovo" financed by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KSFC) in partnership with Partners Albania for Change and Development (PA).

Aiming to strengthen the role of the Albanian media in the implementation of the new justice reform in Albania and to improve the professional skills and capacities of Albanian journalists in reporting justice issues this new project consist in following activities:

-The organization of the Justice Reform Media Academy, which will give journalists the necessary knowledge about new legislation and the basic principles of justice reporting and will test them through writing 20 articles on reform implementation.
-The drafting and publication of a Manual for Justice Reporting for Journalists, which would contain on the one hand, the necessary explanations on the new Albanian legislation, and on the other, the implications that this legislation contains for the media and freedom of expression in general, as well as basic principles of media reporting in this field.
- The creation of a Justice Reform Media Monitor that will analyze the tendencies, trends and main problems of media reporting on justice reform and will provide the necessary recommendations.
- The organization of two television debates with experts of the field of justice and media representatives in order to discuss about the progress of the implementation of justice reform and the role of the media in this process.

Twenty Albanian journalists will be trained at the Justice Reform Media Academy and twenty articles on the progress of justice reform will be published during the project duration. On the other hand, a Manual about Media and Justice will be published and distributed to Albanian journalists. Four Monitoring Reports will be published and distributed to an extensive audience. The project will end with two television debates on national TV stations about Media and Justice.

The project duration is 12 months.

For more information about the Project, contact Agim Doksani: gimi@institutemedia.org
AMI trains 20 reporters through the Justice Reform Media Academy
TrainingAlbanian Media Institute organized the two-week course "Justice Reform Media Academy" aimed at training journalists on how to cover justice system issues against the background of the ongoing justice reform. The training was organized on February 25-March 8, with the participation of 20 journalists from print, online, and audiovisual media.

The training course was a combination of knowledge on the justice reform, its institutions, and their effect on the reform process, and the section devoted to professional coverage of the justice reform. During the course the journalists brainstormed with lecturers potential story ideas and went through a coaching process, which will result in a series of stories published on the ongoing justice reform in the country.

In order to become familiar with legislation, legal experts in the first days of the course focused on the Justice Reform, the constitutional amendments, the new legislation, the new institutions of the justice system, the vetting process, and the role of the International Monitoring Operation. Special attention was devoted to the ongoing process and how the media coverage could be improved in this respect.

The training followed through with lecturers instructing participating journalists on the basic principles of reporting on the justice system, focusing also on the specifics of such reporting, as well as on the best formats, content, and approach to media coverage. In particular, they focused on topics such as the line dividing public interest and the right to privacy; open and closed doors; presumption of innocence; rights of the media, etc.

In the final phase of the training the trainers mentored journalists through their proposals for story writing, brainstorming on topics for stories and fine tuning them. The coaching process included presentation of topics and group discussion on them, ideas for contextualization of the topics, on sources of information to be used, and format ideas. The participants will proceed with producing articles on the justice reform, which will be published in Albanian media.

This grant is supported by the "Civil Society programme for Albania and Kosovo", financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) in partnership with Partners Albania for Change and Development (PA). The content and recommendations do not represent the official position of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Partners Albania for Change and Development (PA).

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