So far, 38 Albanian journalists have been infected with COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic. From this number, there have been no casualties.
This was the information delivered to the OSCE Media Development Forum by Aleksander Cipa, the Head of the Union of Albanian Journalists.
He noted that the real number is likely higher as he was aware of cases where some media and media management were not reporting cases amongst staff.
Cipa added that the Union is trying to support media workers who are infected.
In terms of issues impacting journalists in Albania, the pandemic has increased the problems regarding working conditions. Many are receiving below the living wage, “not enough to meet their daily needs”. He said that the issue of wages being withheld, in some cases for as long as four or five months was beginning to increase again. This has had a “huge impact” on reporters and their ability to support their families.
Sejla Jusufovic added that the pandemic was hitting freelance journalists hard across the region and that women were particularly at risk.