AJK: The report confirms our findings

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Source/Author: Maja Vasic-Nikolic, safejournalists.net

KOSOVO – Ranked: 70 (+ 5 places)

We talked to Gentiana Begoli, president of Association of Journalist of Kosovo

The 2020 World Press Freedom Index confirms what we have consistently proclaimed as Association of Journalist of Kosovo (AJK) – that our media are facing many different problems. Despite the fact that Kosovo has made progress this year, by ranking five positions higher (70th place), the findings of the Reporters Without Borders organisation, are a concern for us.  We consider that the report reflects the real situation, which is unsatisfactory in terms of media freedom in Kosovo.

Some of the common concerns are physical attacks, threats and lynching toward journalists, but also cyber attacks, the target of which have been several media outlets. Another challenge is the lack of transparency regarding media ownership, a fact that makes them more vulnerable to the influences and pressures, with the aim violating freedom of speech and professional reporting of journalists.

As it is noted in the report, many media outlets in Kosovo are facing financial instability, which makes them sensitive to political influences and this often leads to self-censorship.

When it comes to minority community media, most of them are on the verge of extinction, surviving mainly from foreign donations. Like many things in Kosovo, the media is divided along ethnic lines, where access to information is often limited to one ethnic or political group. But we, as AJK are constantly committed, through joint activities with colleagues from other communities to overcome ethnic differences and encouraging the media to play their role for accurate and objective information, regardless ethnic differences or whatever they may be.

Regarding the findings of the report – as we have done consistently before, we will alert the relevant institutions and advocate in order to create a safer and better environment for journalism.