From: Artan Rama
The Consequences When the Media Ignore the Court

If the media regularly reported on developments in the courtroom, the students who had thrown eggs in the direction of the Prime Minister wouldn’t have been so easily convicted.

The accused were declared guilty and their prison sentences were converted into obligatory hours of community service.

But independent from the fact that their punishments may be light, it is the symbolics that classifies this event as abnormal and gives weight to this unwarranted culpability.

Therefore, we should not avoid the consequences and risks of this lack of media attention, the lethargy or confusion caused by “opinionated news,” in open competition with the conversations around the popular tables of the political cafés.

The indifference or non-participation during court sessions, except a speculative interest or curiosity only for the final one, shows that the right to protest and to an independent judicial process do not find the necessary space and understanding to be treated by the media. And that’s not the only thing.

The absence of the representative of the National Ombudsman in the courtroom, when that institution had denounced the violence used against the youthful protesters in the courtyard of the faculty, was also unexpected. So the combination of the number of events, nonchalance, and the media’s neglect, even when not on purpose, have had responsibility and consequences.

Today, no one asks why cameras were not allowed during the final session. Even, what is very rare, journalist were not allowed to attend!

Considered in silence and as norm, no one asks we drove the judge to take such a decision in violation of order no. 6777/5 “for the relation of the court with the public.”

Can someone tell me for what reason the Prime Minister of the country was first accepted, but later, without any cause, rejected by the judge as main witness called by the defence?

Because hermeticism, or the development of the judicial process behind closed doors, in contradiction with the principles of an open trial, in the context of a country that is involved in a complete overhaul of the judicial system, is an unnecessary tension that refutes what has been accomplished so far and encourages judges to behave irresponsibly and capriciously.

But the situation with the judiciary and its transparency can be visualized even more gravely after the recent application of the anonymization of the names of the judges in trials, encouraging juridical actions that are similar to those in a totalitarian society.

And finally, the funders of the media and the managers nominated by them at the head of the redactions, have to understand that reporting public issues simply as regular press conferences of officials, worthless and without any verification of facts or declarations whatsoever, is the wrong objective.

During this last 25 years, the number of criminals, robbers, rapists, and murderers that have populated the bench of the accused has risen to the thousands. But the students of the University of Tirana, who chose a special form of protest to oppose the educational policy of the government, were the first eight defendants. A precisely for this they should have gotten the attention they deserve.