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Statement 

AMA is postponing until September 10 the closure of analogue broadcasts in Tirana and Durrës districts based on the request of national, regional and local operators

In the framework of the conclusion of analogue broadcasts in the Tirana and Durrës districts,  Audiovisual Media Authority, AMA, conducted several meetings with national, regional and local operators, focusing on examining some of their requests for postponement of the analogue broadcasting date, predetermined on 31.07.2018.

National operators, who have been launching decoder for years, have been requesting postponement of the deadline for a period of one month, because they are adapting these devices to comply with the requirements of the program order regulation, endorsed by AMA.

On the other hand, the Radio and Broadcasting Association, RRTL, which represent regional and local audiovisual subjects, addressed a number of requirements related to the difficulties encountered on the digitalization process of their broadcasts, among them and the time insufficient available for completing the process in Tirana and Durrës counties.

These requests were addressed by the RRTL and at the special consultative meeting held by Parliamentary Committee on Education and Means of Public Information dated 24.07.2018. During the meeting, the chairman of the Commission as well as the present deputies expressed their understanding of the concerns of local operators regarding the process and importance of their solution to the good administration of the digitalization process.

Concretely, on behalf of the Commission, it was decided to send a letter to AMA and RTSH, as well as to other relevant institutions that could address some of the issues brought to this table, including a review of the possibility of postponing the analogue frequency closing date by the end of the year.

As a result of the aforementioned developments, AMA extends the termination of analogue broadcasting in Tirana and Durrës districts, until 10.09.2018.

Adherence to the standard of Albanian language, meeting with AMSP in the districts of Vlora and Fier

The round table on “Adhering to the standard of Albanian language in audiovisual broadcasts”, organized by the Audiovisual Media Authority, (AMA), after Tirana and Shkodra, gathered on Thursday 21 June 2018 in the city of Vlora, representatives of the regional AMSP of Vlora and Fier.

Deputy Chairman of AMA, Mr. Sami Nezaj, at the opening of the Roundtable, focused his disccusion on the importance of this aspect in the content broadcast by audio and audiovisual subjects, with a direct impact on public education, as well as in preserving the best of spoken Albanian and written.

“Mass media have an extraordinary role in the public, so AMA is sharing ideas and suggestions in the meetings with the interest groups to look at the possibility of intervention for improvements in the legal and sub legal framework in force.

The Director of Programs, in AMA, Mr. Arben Muka, said that by the end of 2017 and following contents broadcast by national and regional audiovisual subjects with a focus on respecting spoken and written Albanian, are being reviewed, drawing attention to AMSP with the problems encountered.

Head of Content and Analysis Sector, in AMA, Mr. Zimo Krutaj, presented to the participants in the Round Table some of the main issues dealt with illustrative examples, such as cases of deviations from the Albanian language norm, syntax errors and unnecessary use of foreign words being spotted, spelling errors in the subtitles of television news, etc.

Representatives from the subjects of the two districts, such as TV 6 + 1, Apollon TV, TV 4 Plus, TV South, Radio Val and Blue etc., appreciated the AMA’s commitment, as well as presented some aspects and problems they have in respecting the standard of spoken and written Albanian, linking them more to economic hardships, reduced staffing, and the shortcomings in educating reporters and editors. They supported the idea for making Amendments to the Law 97/2013 and to the AMA Broadcasting Code for respecting spoken and written Albanian standards in content broadcast by AMSP.

 

Round table in Shkodra and Lezha districts on “Respecting the standard of Albanian language in audio-visual broadcasting”

AMA organizes a round table with the Media Services Provides (MSP) of Shkodra and Lezha districts

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, in the city of Shkodra, the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) organized a roaund table on “Respecting the standard of Albanian language in audiovisual broadcasts”. At this roundtable, all Media Service Providers (MPS) of Shkodra and Lezha districts were invited.

In the opening speech Mr. Sami Nezaj, Deputy Chairman of AMA, emphasized the purpose and intentions of organizing this roundtable; the importance of the Albanian literary language in the linguistic and cultural formation of young ages as well as the objectives and the role of AMA to respect the standard of spoken and written Albanian in the audio and audiovisual media.

During this roundtable, the Head of Content and Analysis Sector, of the Program Directory in AMA, Mr. Zimo Krutaj, presented a summary report on the experience and results of monitoring national television broadcasts and some Tirana TV news broadcasts. Illustrative and problematic examples were presented such as occurrences and major cases of deviations from the Albanian language norms, syntax errors and unnecessary use of foreign words founded in the audiovisual programs of national television as well as spelling errors in the subtitles of television news.

Attendees at the table, representatives of the local MSP of Shkodra, Lezha and Malësi e Madhe, brought their experiences and assessed the necessity of implementing the literary standard of Albanian in the programs they broadcast. They also stressed the difficulties encountered in this regard, due to the lack of linguistic training of journalists and the lack of editors and correctors in their small newsrooms. There were also issues of communication ethics on the screen and in the microphone as well as professional standards.

The panel concluded that for the respect of Albanian language literary standard in audiovisual broadcasts and also raising the awarnes of operators and public opinion, it should be thought of concrete sanctions, either through the existing provisions in the Media Law and the AMA Transmission Code, or through making new amendments to the existing legislation.

This round table was held after the meeting helded in AMA on April 17th, 2018, with the same theme. For AMA, it is of great importance to develop these discussion tables for rigorous observance of spoken and written Albanian standard in audiovisual content. AMA has therefore planned to continue sensitizing round tables for the use of the Albanian language even in two other major districts in the south and southeast of the country.

Improve news reporting on audiovisual media to stop discrimination and use of hate speech

On Tuesday, June 26, AMA with the support of the Council of Europe organized a joint discussion table on “Improving reporting on audiovisual media to stop discrimination and the use of hate speech”.

The table was greeted by Mr. Gentian Sala, Chairman of the Audiovisual Media Authority and Mr. Claus Neukirch, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana. Mr. Sala appreciated the cooperation between the institutions of great importance.  Mr. Sala point out to all the parties present at the meeting that hate speech is not routine in the language of our televisions. AMA, assured Mr. Sala, is very commited and proactive in the implementation of law and by-laws, as well as her partnership with editorial staff.

Mr Claus Neukirch stressed that reporting on language of hate speech itself is a very problematic phenomenon. He demanded journalists’ responsibility in the use of language which is displayed on television and her victims are numerous. This kind of discourse emphasized by the head of the Council of Europe Office, builds or breaks many steriotypes.

The rest of the activity continued in two panels. The first panel was moderated by Mr. Mark Marku, Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Tirana. Referents to the first panel were: Ms. Monika Stafa from the Complaint Council, in AMA, who noted that complaints that come to AMA regarding the audio-visual content have more to do with ethical problems and less with hate speech issues. Problematic, for Ms. Stafa remains the language used by politics. Mr. Koloreto Cukali from the Albanian Media Council addressed the topic “Self-regulation mechanisms in preventing hate speech and discrimination”. Mr Cukali said that today it is impossible to eradicate the language of hatred, and to eradicate this language today is equal to the disappearance of many media outlets. But he said that the media should be very careful not to promote this language.

Mr. Arben Muka, Director in Directory of Programs, drew attention to the fact that the editorial line should not be a conveyance of the language of drift and at this point there must be sensitivity and interference that this should not be allowed. AMA, emphasized Muka, seeks quality and variety in programming, as well as supporting and supporting organizations focusing on the media.

Ms. Ioana Avădani, the Executive Director of the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest, invited as an expert on this field, pointed out that our countries have a lot in common. Things are moving slowly and there is still much work to be done to achieve tangible results. She rated 4 points as important: determining exactly what we call “speech hatred”; steady steps to fight hate speech; the role of the Media Authority as a key institution that should foster people’s trust; education, as a very important point to teach people how to avoid speech hatred.

Mr. Remzi Lani from the Albanian Media Institute, who was part of the second panel at the meeting, addressed the topic “Ethical Codes and the Will to Implement by Journalists and Reporters”. Mr. Lani raised the issue of how we can prevent the language of recourse without stopping the freedom of expression. Hate speech to Mr. Lani is a legal problem as well as an ethical problem for journalists, therefore it is important to deal with ethical aspects. Mr. Lani called for the media to move to the sphere of self-regulation.

Mr. Mark Marku, from the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Tirana during his presentation, distinguished three important points in the impact that the department has on the issue: 1. Media relations in society where the media not only reports reality but also produces reality; 2. Case studies, dealing with communication as a whole, explanations of discourse principles; 3. Vocational training, subjects of media ethics.

The last speaker of the two panel discussions was Mr. Alban Tartari from the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Tirana, he addressed the topic: “The role and influence of press offices in preventing discrimination and hate speech in news editions,” Mr. Tartari pointed out apparently the great and structured influence of press offices. Nowadays press offices have become news makers where the political context has the greatest and most influential loads than all the others.

The round table was concluded with conclusions and discussions surrounding the aforementioned topics, and all participating actors were of the opinion that a synchronization of actors’ efforts to succeed in defeating hate speech should be encouraged.

Consultative Meeting at AMA for Proposals of Interest Groups for Amendments to Law 97/2013

Today, June 11th, 2018, at the premises of the Audiovisual Media Authority, AMA was held a meeting upon the request of representatives of the main private televisions in the country.

The meeting was focused on the preliminary discussion on their proposal for a change in the law no. 97/2013 “On audiovisual media in the Republic of Albania”. This proposal, is intended to support the financial support of television broadcasters through the creation of a broadcasting fund.

During the meeting there were discussions about the usefulness of this proposal and the importance of such funding for private medias.

Mr. Aleksandr Frangaj, General Director of the National Television Klan, said the proposal comes from the media association and most private television stations. This idea is not new, but it is the return of the proposal made in 2012, which required the creation and incorporation of the “broadcasting fund” in Law 97/2013 “On audio and audiovisual media in the Republic of Albania,” he explained.

The fund that is proposed to be used for private TV support, is proposed to be derived from the service fee for the use of the television receiver. The application of advanced technologies in the audiovisual market has increased costs and has reduced advertising revenue, and this fund is expected to have an impact on market balancing.

Mr. Irfan Hysenbelliu, President of the Television News 24, said he fully supports this idea and that this practice comes from the European experience, which is already proven to be successful.

Ms. Ilva Tare, Director at Ora News, emphasized that, as private media perform a public service, this law will ensure and improve media quality and credibility to the public.

Mr. Carlo Bollino from Report TV estimated that the law is also a guarantee for investigative journalism, promoting media freedom and increasing the fight against fake news.

Mr. Ben Blushi, General Director of the National Television, Top Channel, said that this draft law is already consulted and he tends to eventually fine-tune three important aspects: the television report on the media market, their report to the public and assures integration of an Ethics Board near any media. This board undertakes to fight the false news. This project for Mr. Blushi increases media independence and has all the reasons to be approved as soon as possible.

AMA’s Chairman, Mr. Gentian Sala, praised the institution’s partnership with market operators, evaluating any proposals and initiatives that come from interest groups. This proposal involves some issues and requires the engagement of as many stakeholders in consultations, he ensured that it will have maximum attention during the relevant discussion and decision-making by the AMA Board.

AMA collaborates with NCRTV counterparts in Greece

Chairman of the Audiovisual Media Authority, Mr. Gentian Sala, received in a working meeting on June 6th, 2018 a delegation of the National Council of Greek Radio Television, NCRTV, consisting of Prof. George Pleios, Member of the Council and Mrs. Dora Papadaki, legal expert in NCRTV. Representatives of two homologous institutions have systematically developed contacts in their participation in European or regional audiovisual media organizations, such as EPRA, ERGA, BRAF, MNRA, etc., but this was the first bilateral meeting between them, initiated by AMA.

Aspects of structuring the two institutions, adapting European directives to national legislation in the audiovisual field, reviewing broadcast content and processing complaints about legal violations, effective methodologies for auditing the audience – these and others were issues that were discussed among members of the two delegations. It was also highly appreciated the commitment to address cases of non-compliance with the standards for the protection of children in their content, advertising and volume, avoidance of hate speech and discrimination, access to European works, especially by subjects with national license etc.

Friends of NCRTV praised AMA’s preparation and publication of the Bulletin, with data from the Albanian audiovisual market. Interest by the Albanian side was on the experience of Greek counterparts in adapting legislation to monitoring issues related to human rights in general, especially focused on children. The possibility of reaching a memorandum of cooperation between the two institutions is expected to be the next step in AMA – NCRTV co-operation.

This is the second official meeting that AMA has with counterpart institutions from the region. A few days ago, a delegation from Macedonia’s Media and Audiovisual Media Services came to AMA premises in Tirana.

AMA – AKEP meeting to increase efficiency in the fight against TV piracy

The Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA), on May 30th, 2018, organized a meeting with the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) in the presence of Digitalb, Tring and ABCom operators on the phenomenon of television piracy.

At a time when TV piracy a phenomenon in growing, a more effective coordination between institutions overseeing the audiovisual and traffic market, as well as pay TV operators directly affected by this illegal activity, is needed. The participants highlighted the fact that technological developments in the field of telecommunications have made it easier to piracy the audiovisual content and have hindered the activity of the bodies responsible for finding and eliminating this phenomenon.

Specifically, the purpose of the meeting was to undertake concrete steps to increase co-operation between the two authorities, audiovisual operators and Internet service providers, to increase efficiency in the fight against TV piracy through comprehensive co-ordination and a well-regulated process through which concrete results in the fight against the phenomenon.

Discussions of this meeting are expected to be concretized by signing a memorandum of cooperation among all actors involved in this process.

Media Education: “Expert Group Meeting – Coordination and Synergies between Parties for Responsible Ethical Communication”

The Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) and the Council of Complaints, organized on May 21, 2018, the Round Table on Media Education: “Expert Group Meeting – Coordination and synergies between the parties for a responsible ethical communication “.

The purpose of this roundtable was to raise public awareness on the concept of what media education is essentially. Defining the critical sense of citizenship versus a news production and happening in this technological platform of various platforms. The need to include Media Education as a separate subject in the curricula remains an urgent need that can properly and professionally self-regulate the media’s effects on human life and especially on children.

Part of this Roundtable were members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Media, representatives from the the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Journalism Department and Communication, representatives of televisions, international organizations, the Albanian Media Institute, journalism students, etc.

Mr. Sami Nezaj, Deputy Chairman in AMA, discussed regulatory and self-regulatory practices, policies, strategies and legislation related to media education, underlining some key moments deriving from the Constitution of Albania (Articles 22 and 23) on media and the Law on Audiovisual media in The Republic of Albania. For Mr. Nezaj, the latter has a peripheral approach to media education, but there are some moments that can be perceived in relation to media education, such as the Council of Complaints.

In his greeting speech, Mr. Luciano Boci, member of the Parliamentary Media Commission, said that media education, social education, and their awareness could be considered a priority. According to him, special subjects for media education should have been included in the school curricula. If some countries have such a choice, they should be obliged for Albania’s deputy Mr. Boçi. Ms. Almira Xhembulla, also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Media, emphasized the need for audience analysis and the product offered to her. She cited the European Commission’s orientation in terms of media education and stressed the need to move further with this task.

As Ms. Doriana Dervishi, advisor to the Cabinet of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Education, brought a broad overview of the curricula, university and pre-university curricula. According to her, there are higher education institutions that have included modules for journalism and media, as well for media education. As examples of the ongoing work of the Ministry of Education in this area, as well as modules for the right to information or economic education in basic education.

Mrs. Ilda Londo from the Albanian Media Institute offered to the participants in this table some data from the index on media in Albania. She underlined two main moments of this index: the first, that Albania ranks among the most unpopular places regarding media education and the second that the public still has a high degree of trust in the media in Albania.

For the deputy director of the National Library, Ms. Etleva Domi, we are in need of a national media education strategy, with the participation of many institutions, as in today’s world, the Internet and technological developments dictate the need for a new approach to this topic.

As for Mr. Ramadan Çipuri, from the Journalism Department at the University of Tirana, the role of universities for media education is paramount. As primary as co-operation with the media of other institutions. He put forward some suggestions to improve the media situation in the country. Member of the AMA Board, Ms. Suela Musta, brought the results of a monitoring conducted by her for three televisions, Klan, Top Channel and Vizion +, about the show spectacles that these televisions broadcast.

According to her, there have been flagrant breaches of the Broadcasting Code, especially the image of children and their misuse. According to her, children are being used for no fair purpose.

For the media expert, Mr. Rrapo Zguri we are in the era of information consumption, where everything is digitized, easily reproducible and manipulable. So, he added, the time has come to open a wide debate: Where does the media start? Mr. Erald Kapri, a member of the AMA Council of Complaints, brought to attention the latest report of “Soros”, where Albania ranks first in media education, as well as elaborating Albanian ways and mechanisms for public involvement and education. Mrs. Karolina Risto, Executive Director in InTV, brought her experience as a journalist, and now as a leader, talked about several ways the media can use to promote public education for information. According to her, initiatives should be taken to improve professionalism in the media and to develop self-regulatory mechanisms as a way to cooperate with the public. Mrs. Monika Stafa, Chairperson of the Council of Complaints underlined, among other things that the outset we have to explain what is going on with media education. This term, widely known as Media Literacy, means that the media customer should be able to ask some questions about how much he reads online or sees on television. He should first know which media is the source of information, and further, who is / are the owners and what interests they have. As citizens of the news, the citizen should be taught to become more demanding, because where resources are lacking there is always potential for propaganda, misinformation and abuse.

The AMA’s Council of Complaints will welcome such initiatives by inviting all inter-institutional partners to cooperate on this sensitive issue recently for the future of our children.

Audiovisual Media Authority announces the closing date of analogue broadcasting in the district of Tirana and Durrës

The Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) announces that the final date for the closure of analogue broadcasts in Tirana and Durres district is 31 of July 2018. The public that follow TV broadcasts through analogue technology must be equipped with a DVB-T2-Universal digital terrestrial decoder or be equipped with a television set that incorporates a decoder of this type. In other conditions, after 31 July 2018, it will no longer be possible to watch TV broadcasts in the districts of Tirana and Durrës. For further information, contact us at 04 410 44 55 or 04 410 44 56 “.