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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.

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