Print this Page
Print this Page

Albania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity

The law forbids shareholders to acquire more than 10% of a terrestrial broadcaster or to acquire a share of other broadcasters. In other words, a physical or juridical person may control no more than one terrestrial broadcaster. Recently, there has been a debate on whether the same rule should apply for digital terrestrial and digital satellite broadcasters.

While there is no official data regarding the share of imported media programmes in the domestic market, some surveys show that the Albanian media is heavily dependent on imported programmes. Estimates show that they make up around 80% of terrestrial and 95% of digital broadcasts.

There are no specific training programmes for cultural journalists. Culture remains a less important issue in editorial policy and media structures. On the other hand, cultural journalists consider their job as an "obligatory service"; a stepping stone to promotion as a journalist covering other sectors, such as the economy or politics.

The most important development in the Albanian media has been to secure freedom of expression which is currently guaranteed by the Albanian Constitution.

A structural reform of the national broadcasting system has started and new national television channels, such as Klan, TVA, Top Channel, Vizion Plus have been created. A new challenging development was the introduction of digital terrestrial and digital satellite pay TV platforms.

In addition to the daily news, a cultural news report has been created. The most important magazine in the cultural field is Klan, Spekter. Some professional journals on culture are: the Albanian Universe of Books, Aleph, Mehr Licht.

Overall, Albania has made some progress on freedom of expression and media development which have been considered a key European Partnership priority for the Albanian government. Freedom of expression and of the press is constitutionally guaranteed in Albania, but many media outlets remain subject to political or economic interests. The 2006 Decision to widen the composition of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT) and the Steering Committee of Albania Radio and Television, to include experts proposed by the parliamentary opposition, has been implemented. The NCRT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Competition Authority on cooperation in promoting free competition in the electronic media field. Albania agreed to an Action Plan to develop new broadcasting legislation which involves consultation with stakeholders and the international community. On the other side, the Labour Code was amended to improve the status of journalists. The government initially proposed a Draft Digital Broadcasting Act without the agreed consultation, as an urgent anti-piracy measure. Further consultation led to a new Law which largely takes into account European Commission and Council of Europe advice. Work on comprehensive new broadcasting legislation needs to continue and intensify, using the process agreed with the Commission and the Council of Europe.

Chapter published: 18-01-2011

Your Comments on this Chapter?