The Albanian government has not planned any economic assistance for media in the country following the Coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said:
“The media are big businesses, the government has made sovereign guarantees available, the media get loans and pay their employees. Concerning journalists is another issue. As long as there is talk of a lack of profit or commercial emissions, it is not the job of the government.”
The media was impacted by a government decision that said shows should have no more than two people in the studio. They have also been impacted as businesses have reduced their advertising because some shows have been forced to shut down.
Journalists, media representatives and media organisations have repeatedly urged the government to include the media in the economic aid package.
Meanwhile, a number of journalists continue working on the front line and behind the scene to keep people in Albania up to date with all the latest news related to the pandemic, providing a valuable public service.
The Albanian Association of European Journalists has sent a letter to President Ilir Meta, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha, the Ambassadors of the US and Sweden, Representatives of the Council of Europe and the Ambassadors of the EU and OSCE to ask for assistance.
Their letter states that a number of TV and written media have started laying off their staff at a time when the majority of journalists are working harder than ever before. They state that “journalists are at the forefront of reporting” and are risking their lives in a dignified mission of informing citizens.
“In view of this deteriorating and worsening situation, and considering the media as very important for the democracy of a country, we urge you to influence as soon as possible the creation of a very supportive and supportive package. Concrete proposals can be drafted after discussions with the country’s media representatives, which in our opinion should start as soon as possible, in order not to deteriorate the situation and deteriorate the quality of public information,” they wrote.
Referring to examples set by Spain and Greece and noting the importance of journalists in a functioning democracy, the reiterated their call for help and assistance during this “very delicate moment in the country’s history.”