SafeJournalists: Stop Smear Campaign Against Journalists Ola Xama in Albania

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    photo: canva

    The SafeJournalists Network expresses its profound concern and dismay over the continued and intensified smear campaign against Ola Xama, an investigative journalist in Albania.

    Despite previous calls (here, here, here) for solidarity and the cessation of harassment, recent developments reveal an escalation in the nature of the attacks she faces.

    After her article on the public-private partnership contract for a waste incinerator in Tirana was published on Reporter.al in July 2023, Ms. Xama has been subjected to a series of defamatory actions. The recent spate of articles on platforms like the daily DITA and Prapaskena.com, which have resorted to personal attacks, ‘slut-shaming’, the exposure of her private address, and attacks on her family members, are not only reprehensible but also a blatant attempt to intimidate and silence her.

    These attacks are especially concerning given their timing after Ms. Xama’s decision to seek legal redress against the defamatory publications. The attacks on Ms. Xama not only jeopardize her personal safety and professional integrity but also serve to intimidate and silence other women in journalism, further hindering gender equality in the media industry. 

    The SafeJournalists Network expresses profound concern over the disconcerting trend of media outlets engaging in campaigns that tarnish the reputation of fellow journalists, as seen in the case of Ola Xama. This behavior damages the standing of individuals within the journalistic community and significantly erodes public trust in the media at large.

    The SafeJournalists Network stands in solidarity with Ola Xama, supporting her right to report freely and without intimidation. We call on the media outlets involved to immediately cease their unfounded and damaging attacks on Ms. Xama and adhere to the highest standards of journalistic integrity and ethics. We encourage all stakeholders to join us in defending the rights of women journalists and promoting a media landscape where they can work without fear of harassment or discrimination.

    We will continue to monitor this situation closely, advocating for the rights and safety of journalists. We remind all stakeholders that a vibrant, free press is fundamental to democracy, serving as a watchdog for society and a critical voice in holding those in power accountable.

     

    SafeJournalists Network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.

     

    Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Skopje – Zagreb– 7 March 2024

     

    SafeJournalists Network

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Journalists of Macedonia

    BH Journalists Association

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

    Trade Union of Media of Montenegro