Strengthening Media Freedom, Professionalism, and Journalists’ Safety in Albania

Strengthening Media Freedom, Professionalism, and Journalists’ Safety in Albania

Strengthening Media Freedom, Professionalism, and Journalists’ Safety in Albania

Freedom of expression is the beating heart of a democracy and is one of the central pillars of EU integration for candidate countries. After the launching of the screening process, part of the accession negotiations with the EU, progress in the criteria for respecting fundamental rights and freedom of expression, in particular, is essential for Albania’s bid to meet EU standards and join the union.

The project “Strengthening Media Freedom, Professionalism and Journalists’ Safety in Albania” was launched on 01 January 2024 and lasts 36 months, until December 2026, supported by the European Union (EU). The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania (BIRN Albania) implements the project in partnership with the Science for Innovation Development Centre (SCiDEV) and Qendra Faktoje.

During the overall implementation period, the project aims to build the capacities through training and mentoring of local media and journalists to monitor Albania’s progress in media freedom and flag freedom of expression violations and other issues related to the overall safety of journalists. The project contributes to reinforcing the codes of conduct of local media, its accuracy, impartiality, and responsibility in reporting and standards of internal governance, but also builds strategic partnerships and promotes the protection of labor rights of media workers, aiming to create a free and safe environment for journalists, where qualitative investigative reporting thrives without any form of (self) censorship, in the benefit of citizens and their aspirations for EU integration.

To achieve the overall objective, the project activities and outputs will contribute to the following outcomes:

  • Strengthened collaboration between local media, CSOs, academia, and journalists to monitor and advance media freedom, professional standards, and safety of journalists;
  • Increased technical, editorial, and financial resources of local media and journalists from the different regions of Albania to report independently, ethically, and in a gender-balanced way;
  • Enhanced local media production on fundamental rights targeting specific audiences, particularly youth, women, and minority / vulnerable groups.

 

SCiDEV, together with BIRN, will work to establish a network fostering collaboration among local media, CSOs, academia, and journalists for media freedom, professional standards, and safety. Furthermore, SCiDEV will also organize six joint biannual meetings with at least eighty representatives from the media sector. In cooperation with our partners, we will work on the production of three annual reports and relevant recommendations on the media freedom situation in the county, which will be published and shared with the public and international actors. In line with these activities, SCiDEV will raise students’ awareness through open lectures on disinformation, fact-checking, freedom of the media, the safety of journalists, etc. We will also work to strengthen the capacities and sustainability of the project by supporting the local media community through training sessions and increased local media coverage on fundamental rights tailored to specific target audiences such as youth, women, and minority/vulnerable groups.

Project Partners:

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania (BIRN Albania)

Science for Innovation Development Centre (SCiDEV)

Qendra Faktoje

Timeframe:

January 2024 – December 2026

Total Budget: 342,000.00 EUR

SCiDEV’s budget: 78,275.85 EUR

Contracting Authority

European Commission