From: Dritan Sakuta
Is the Albanian Media Closing in on Itself?

Because of the latest developments in the country, all the attention has been directed to what happens within our borders, but not outside of them.  There is more proof everyday that what has really failed in Albania is the fact that the media, considered the fourth power, has been corrupted and politicized. Even from this point of view, there is no explanation for obvious tendency by the media to look over and not cover the developments unfolding outside the country.

What is really happening with the media and its ability to transmit news directly or indirectly relevant to Albania?

The first round of presidential elections in France took place nearly a week ago. Le Pen and Macron are the finalists for the presidential run that holds significant weight considering the increased populism in the heart of the European Union. These elections will be decisive for the future of the EU. These elections are significant for Albania as well, given that it is a country that wants to enter into a dialogue with the EU.

I noticed that two big Italian media channels had invited several deputies and analysts that commented and analyzed every change during the vote counting. It is important to emphasize that this wasn’t done just to fill up time, as it happens in Albania, but it was so that people watching would better understand the platforms of each candidate in relation to Europe, and to better understand what this elections or the economic union that they are part of meant.

I tried hard to find on Albanian TV an analysis that would be clear for everyone to understand, but I could not find any. What is happening with the quality of news in Albania?! Are celebrity sex scandals the only news worthy of attention? How is it possible that the so-called elite which is quite able to analyze these rose scandals, is not able to produce a reporter or commentator who is capable of following what is happening outside of Albania?

Are we left at the mercy of a few pseudo-commentators and pseudo-journalists who have no idea what they are saying in their so called analytical pieces or how to connect it to the political situation in Albania?

Are we possibly closing off the country to outside events and is this due to the fact that our media has decided to live in the bubble of the internal fights between the two political sides?

This is a failure of the so-called fourth power in this country. This becomes even worse when the media are not reflecting the actual situation as it is. The media have not covered many protests and crowd gatherings?! Several news items took the side of the political party that serves the interests of that particular media channel!  The right word is here is “a lot.”

I dare say that a fully restored media landscape is needed, so that the trust they once had is regained. Some of them, which have become media empires, are beginning to come to their end and seeing a media outlet that you once trusted, destroy itself, is certainly a sore sight. There is one question that remains in my mind: Are the Albanian media closing up?