The Western Balkans’ Journalists’ Safety Index (WB-JSI) is a research-grounded tool designed to measure and monitor the changes in the respective social and political environments of the WB countries, that have direct or indirect impact on the safety of journalists and media actors while practicing their profession. The WB-JSI relies primarily on the research evidence collected and analyzed by the partners of the Safejournalists.net Platform in compliance with a rigorous procedure of inquiry. The collected data on various dimensions of the complex concept of ‘journalists’ safety’ is quantified and aggregated into a composite indicator – Journalists’ Safety Index, to measure the changes across the seven Western Balkans’ countries over time. Based on the research evidence, nine members of the Advisory Panel in each country assess the situation and assign scores to each of the 19 indicators within the following dimensions:
- Legal and organizational environment – the existence and implementation of legal safeguards relevant for the safety of journalists
- Due Prevention– the existence and implementation of a range of preventative measures that have direct effects on journalists’ protection and safety;
- Due Process – the behavior of state institutions and public officials towards journalists and the efficiency of the criminal and civil justice system concerning the investigations of threats and acts of violence against journalists;
- Actual Safety – incidents and instances of various forms of threats and acts of violence against journalists and media.
The WB-JSI was jointly developed by the researchers from the Skopje based RESIS Institute and partners of the Safejournalists.net Platform: Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia, Association of BH Journalists, Trade Union of Media of Montenegro, Association of Journalist of Macedonia, Association of Journalist of Kosovo, Croatian Journalists’ Association and independent researcher in Albania. As such, the Index is a result of a joint effort of the Platform Safejournalists.net and covers all the specific issues that local partners identified as relevant for their country contexts.
This report refers to the situation in Albania in 2020 which was designated as the first (pilot) year for development of the conceptual framework and methodology for scoring, aggregating, and calculating the Index. In the upcoming years, the improvement or deterioration of the situation in all countries will be measured by taking into consideration the assessment for 2020 as the reference year. More details about the theoretical framework and procedure of construction and calculation of the WB-JSI and all country reports can be found at: https://safejournalists.net/safety-index/