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.

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