Six Albanian media in financial difficulty, other print media will stop printing – Release
Head of the Albanian faction of the Association of European Journalists, Arber Hitaj spoke of the difficulties faced by the country’s 6,000 journalists.
Invited to RTV Ora Last night, Hitaj said six major media outlets were forced to cut jobs and cut wages. He added that some newspapers that have been forced to stop printing will not resume when the pandemic is over.
Hitaj said removing VAT from advertising, or at least reducing it, would be helpful for the country’s media.
Earlier this month, a letter was sent by the Albanian Association of European Journalists to the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, EU, Council of Europe and OSCE representatives and Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha.
The letter raised the issue of layoffs and financial difficulties faced by television, print and online media. He noted that this was taking place at a time when the work of the journalist was extremely important and they were âat the forefront of reportingâ. The journalists were risking their lives in a dignified mission to inform citizens, according to the letter.
He called on the addresses to ask for the creation of an economic support package for the media. It should start as soon as possible, they said.
Only the President and Ambassador of Sweden Elsa Hastad responded.
âWe need quality and strong media at all times, but maybe even more so in difficult times. We need you to provide us with accurate information, we need you to hold officials like myself, institutions and politicians to account. “
Ambassador Hastad expressed concerns about threats and challenges to democracy and the media in many countries during the pandemic. In this context, she offered the strong support of her embassy to the Albanian media, in accordance with the recent foreign policy initiative of the Swedish government “”On the road to democracyâ.
Prime Minister Edi Rama previously refused to help media companies following the COVID-19 outbreak.
âThe media is big business, the government has made sovereign guarantees available, the media gets loans and pays their employees. Regarding journalists, that’s another problem. As long as we are talking about lack of profit or commercial emissions, it is not the government’s job.
Media of all sizes suffer from the lack of advertising revenue and the restrictions placed on their work. This comes at a time when they arguably have more work to do than ever to keep the general public informed.