From: Exit News
Albanian Parliament Partially Lifts Restrictions on Media Access

The Albanian Parliament has amended its new media regulation to remove or change a number of provisions that limited journalists’ access to its premises.

The amended regulation allows accredit journalists to physically attend the meetings of parliamentary committees and have their phones on them.

Media will also be allowed to record the first five minutes of every meeting, although they will be provided with recordings made by Parliament itself for the rest.

Parliament has also conceded that journalists not be followed around the building by Parliament security, but may be accompanied by members of the Parliament’s Press Office where deemed necessary.

While journalists will not be allowed to move freely around Parliament corridors, a new space will be made available outside the building for journalists to speak to MPs directly.

Furthermore, journalists will no longer be required to send in questions through the Press Office but may contact individual MPs or parliamentary groups themselves. Nevertheless, the Press Office must be informed of any interviews in advance.

These amendments to Parliament’s new media regulation come after a first version of the regulation, published one month ago, drew criticism for limiting access to journalists.

Journalists protested the new regulation, stating that it had been drawn up without their consultation. Both the Council of Europe and the EU Delegation to Albania issued statements condemning it.

In mid-June, Parliament invited journalists for a consultation over the new rules.