Recruitment and Training
We do not discriminate when hiring staff, as per local and international legislation and best practices. We do not discriminate against age, sex, gender, sexual oritentation, political beliefs, religious beliefs, cultural beliefs, background, race, or any other factor. We judge each applicant on their journalistic skills and their agreement to our Editorial Guidelines and other ethical obligations.
Hires are made based on recommendations, personal requests, submissions via social media and the website, and on occasion, publication of vacancies.
The first stage of the process is a face-to-face meeting with the Editor, followed by a less formal meeting with the Co-Editors. A decision will then be made and negotiations can be undertaken as required.
Journalists can choose to be employed, self-employed, freelancers, or paid per contribution. We do not discriminate on their decision. We base payment on negotiation with the journalist, experience, and the type of content they will create.
We offer all staff and contributors free and ongoing training. We meet for regular reviews and meetings where training is provided on a continual basis. We also implement informal mentoring amongst staff.
We abide by the law of Albania in terms of sick leave, holiday, and other labour considerations. But we go beyond what is legally required. If staff is sick, they are able to take additional leave on a case by case basis with full pay. This covers mental stress or issues, as well as ongoing, or short term conditions. We offer the ability to work from home as and when required or on a full time basis. We offer flexible working hours, to be agreed beforehand, as per the personal situation of each journalist. We recognise that life takes unexpected turns and allow our journalists to respond to their personal circumstances where required. We will take all steps necessary to support them through any period of personal, professional, or medical difficulty. We support our journalists with requests for help and assistance relating to personal development. We will do all we can to enable them to develop more in a professional or personal capacity.
We do not tolerate bullying, discrimination, harassment or any other form of abuse against our journalists, whether from an internal or external source. We will do all within our legal and personal power to support and protect them in these situations. Our journalists are free to complain, criticise, make suggestions, and protest working conditions without penalty, as long as such action is ethical and legal. The duration or nature of the employment type of a journalist should not inhibit them from operating in an ethical manner and our organization's structure protects that. The welfare, happiness and safety of our journalists comes before any article or publication. We provide assistance and support on a case by case basis to journalists who have suffered injury, stress, or trauma as a result of their work.
We provide full training and guidance, including the right for dialogue, debate and questioning in terms of our Editorial Guidelines and all processes. No one is penalised for disagreeing or questioning. In terms of safety at work, we refer to the Reporters Without Borders Safety Guide for Journalists and consider it as the industry best standard.
Anti Discrimination Policy
This policy applies to all employees, contractors, visitors, and stakeholders.
Discrimination is any negative action or attitude directed toward someone because of protected characteristics, like race and gender.
Other protected characteristics are:
- Ethnicity / nationality
- Disability / medical history
- Marriage / civil partnership
- Pregnancy / maternity/ paternity
- Gender identity /sex/ sexual orientation
- Discrimination and harassment
- Our anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies go hand-in-hand.
- We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination that creates a hostile and unpleasant environment for employees, interns or volunteers.
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some instances that we consider discrimination: Hiring managers disproportionately disqualifying male or female job candidates on purpose. Managers bypassing team members with specific protected characteristics (e.g. race) for promotion without being able to formally prove (e.g. with documentation) the reasons other employees were selected instead. Employees making sexist comments.
Employees sending emails disparaging someone’s ethnic origin
Employees who harass their colleagues will go through our disciplinary process and we may reprimand, demote or terminate them depending on the severity of their offence.
We recognize that sometimes discrimination is unintentional, as we may all have unconscious biases that could be difficult to identify and overcome. In case we conclude that an employee unconsciously discriminates, we will support them through training and counseling and implement processes that mitigate biases as we indicate in the next section. But, if this person shows unwillingness to change their behavior, we may demote or terminate them.
We will not be lenient in cases of assault, sexual harassment or workplace violence, whether physical or psychological. We will terminate employees who behave like this immediately.
Actions to prevent discrimination
To ensure that our conduct and processes are fair and lawful, we:
- Use inclusive language in job ads and other statements.
- Set formal job-related criteria to hire, promote and reward team members.
- Offer compensation and benefits according to position, seniority, qualifications and performance, not protected characteristics.
- Accommodate people with disabilities.
- Require managers to keep detailed records of their decisions concerning their team members and job candidates.
We will also consider additional measures to prevent discrimination, like: Using hiring processes that reduce bias like structured interviews and blind hiring programs. Organizing training on diversity, communication and conflict management to improve collaboration among employees of different backgrounds.
What to do in cases of discrimination
If you are the victim of discriminatory behavior (or if you suspect that others are being discriminated against,) please talk to the Editor as soon as possible. The Editor is responsible for hearing your claim, investigating the issue and determining punishment. If you are not comfortable to speak to the Editor, please speak to a Co-Editor.
Punishment for discriminatory behavior depends on the severity of the offence. For example, inadvertently offending someone might warrant a reprimand. Conversely, willfully bypassing employees for promotion because of a protected characteristic will result in termination.
If you decide to make a claim to a regulatory body we are committed and bound by law not to retaliate against you.
We is proactive and responsive about determining whether discrimination occurs. For example, we: Look into similar claims about the same person or process to determine if discrimination is systemic. Evaluate testimonies on social media that visitors, job candidates or former employees have made. Conduct discreet interviews and gather information.
We will investigate all claims discreetly. We will never disclose who made a complaint to anyone or give out information that may help others identify that person (e.g. which department or role they work in.)
We should all strive to prevent and address discrimination. Be aware of your implicit biases and speak up whenever you or your colleagues are discriminated against. If you have any ideas on how we can ensure fairness and equality in our workplace, we are happy to hear them.