PRISTINA, 20.04.2021 – The Association of Journalists of Kosovo – AJK, expresses its concern over the Reporters Without Borders Index findings, on the state of media freedom in Kosovo, in the report published for 2021.
Kosovo is ranked 78th in the world in terms of press freedom and stands better in comparison to some of the countries in the region. However, the regress that Kosovo has undergone by 8 places in the Index, reflects the real, unsatisfactory state of media freedom in Kosovo.
Just like last year, the report highlights the continuity of instability of the media, where as almost everything else in the country, it remains divided along ethnic lines. It notes that access to information is often restricted to one ethnic or political group, with most media reporting mainly on issues related to their nationality. Some of the most common concerns according to the report are physical and verbal attacks on journalists, cyber attacks on online media and, lack of transparency regarding media ownership.
According to the Index of the Reporters Without Borders, many media outlets in Kosovo lack financial stability, which makes them sensitive to political influences. Many newspapers were banned from publishing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Index also mentions the case of the journalist Tatjana Lazarevic, when she was arrested by the police, for which case AJK reacted.
The report concludes that so far, the fate of numerous journalists in Kosovo remains unknown to this date, including those journalists who went missing or were abducted during the 1999 war conflict.
According to the Index, from the countries of the region, Croatia has the highest ranking, as it is placed the 56th. Other countries rankings are as follows: Montenegro 104, Serbia 93, Albania 83, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58.
AJK estimates that the findings of this report should be an alarm for the country’s institutions in order to create a better and safer environment for journalism.