Western Balkans Journalists’ Safety Index 2022, Narrative Report – Albania

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    Western Balkans Journalists’ Safety Index 2022, Narrative Report – Albania

    The Western Balkans Journalists’ Safety Index (Index) is a research-based tool designed to measure and monitor changes in the respective social and political environments of the Western Balkan countries that have a direct or indirect impact on the safety of journalists and media professionals while practicing their profession. The index relies on the research data collected and analyzed by the partners of the Safejournalists.net platform, based on a rigorous research procedure. The collected data on different dimensions of the complex concept of “journalists’ safety” are quantified and aggregated into a composite indicator – the Journalists’ Safety Index, in order to measure the changes across the seven countries of the Western Balkans over time.

    The first (pilot) year for the development of the conceptual framework and methodology for the assessment, collection and calculation of the index was 2020. This report refers to the situation in Albania in 2022 and presents the improvement or deterioration of the situation for each of the four dimensions, taking into account the assessment for 2021 as a reference year. More details about the theoretical framework and the procedure for developing and calculating the Index, as well as all the reports for the countries of the Western Balkans, can be found at: https://safejournalists.net/safety-index/. It is authored by Blerjana Bino.

    Key findings per each dimension

    Journalist Safety Index Albania 2022: 2.84

    Legal and Organizational Environment

    In 2022, the Albanian government withdrew a controversial anti-defamation package. Laws protecting journalistic source confidentiality were upheld, with no recorded instances of source disclosure. However, legal challenges related to defamation, libel, hate speech, copyright, personal privacy, and data protection laws persisted. There were no major changes regarding the formal status or licensing of journalists.

    Due Prevention

    In 2022, Albania made little progress in improving reporting mechanisms for threats against journalists, and legal aid was inconsistently provided. While police responses were satisfactory in registration, follow-ups were slow and ineffective. Public condemnations of threats to journalists were sporadic, and despite some police training, issues like unwarranted detentions continued.

    Due Process

    In 2022, ongoing issues with slow, often dismissed investigations of physical attacks against journalists raised concerns about law enforcement effectiveness. Albania lacked a unified system for collecting and analyzing data on threats and attacks against journalists.

    Actual Safety

    In 2022, life-threatening cases against journalists were not systemic. There were nine reported cases of actual attacks on journalists. Structural issues like political and business ties to media, lack of funding transparency, media blackmail, conflict of interests, limited media plurality and access to information, increased disinformation, and poor working conditions continued to threaten the environment for quality, independent journalism.

    Full Narrative Report in English – Index Safety of Journalists Albania ENG 2022