What challenges must the Albanian media face as technological changes shake five centuries of media tradition? The shift to new technology in the United States and Western Europe – though rapid in the larger context – was gradual enough to allow media outlets to adapt, whereas in Albania, the shift came suddenly and met the media unprepared. To make matters worse, the Albanian media is in the midst of a tough economic and financial crisis, grappling with dwindling audiences for traditional news as well as a decrease in interest from advertisers. Hence, the Albanian media must prepare to face down several new challenges.
The first challenge relates to changing the culture of professional journalism. Albanian journalists’ past experiences, education and traditions have not prepared them to take advantage of the latest information technology and to properly communicate with an increasingly interactive audience. Journalists in various media forums rarely maintain a dialogue with their audience. Also, the selection of outlets that offer value-added journalism – journalism which analyzes events and information – is still very slim. There is now an abundance of sources that provide information about current events without expecting much input from the journalist. That’s without even getting into the shift to a culture of online journalism, and how written Web content is increasingly accessed by a new generation technology and digital reading devices, such as the so-called “fourth screen” or the screen of the latest smartphones.
The newest International Research and Exchanges Board’s (IREX) “Media Sustainability Index” begins by detailing the shortcomings in Albanian media – initially by pointing out that a growing number of media outlets have succumbed to a dependence on political parties, mainly the ruling party. In addition the report warns that independent members of the media and neutral journalists in Albania are a rare species quickly moving toward extinction.
Media Law and Self-Censorship
According to recent public-opinion polls conducted by the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) and the Institute of Developmental Research and Alternatives (IDRA), the media system in Albania remains one of the most successful sectors in society despite recent volatility. In both polls the public considered the media to be among the most trusted sectors, however the implementation of the right to information from all public Read more
In the last few years the downfall of the newspaper industry has been predicted excessively – especially in the US.
In a study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism, the ways in which U.S. newspapers covered their own crisis were found to be “exaggerated” and “too emotional.” The study, entitled, “A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis” found that the “crisis” more accurately reflected an overreaction on behalf of journalists.
For two years (from March 2008 to March 2010), media scientists Hsiang Iris Chyi, Seth C. Lewis and Nan Zheng tracked the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times – U.S. newspapers with the highest circulations – for reportage on the newspaper crisis.
The coverage appearing in USA Today can be summed up rather briefly: it was almost nonexistent. There were only two articles within the sample period containing the terms “newspaper” and “circulation.” For this reason, the researchers Read more
*EJO Student Contribution
With new statistics showing that tablet usage promotes news consumption, establishing revenue streams via pay-per-view content is proving to be a difficult task for newspapers and publishing houses.
As part of a new study performed by The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) in collaboration with The Economist Group, Amy Mitchell, Leah Christian, and Tom Rosenstiel analyzed news application users in an attempt to find solutions to recent industry decline.
The report, titled “The tablet revolution and what it means for the future of news,” is of interest to media managers due to the recent success of the iPad and its role in helping to increase news consumption. Tablets have enjoyed enthusiastic feedback from Read more
Article contributed by the European Journalism Centre
The Portuguese language service of Euronews is facing closure following the decision of the Portuguese government to end its contract with the international news channel.
Due to the economic crisis, the Portuguese government has been forced to make cuts in every sector. “As far as I know, the government’s decision is not against Euronews; it was aimed at saving resources and Euronews was a collateral victim,” explained the Portuguese politician José Ribeiro e Castro, who is also the president of a governmental commission for education and culture. The news was announced by Euronews’ CEO Michael Peters to the Portuguese Parliament on January 18th.
In protest against the decision, Ribeiro e Castro launched an online petition “Let’s save Euronews Portuguese,” which has collected over 1,700 signatures so far. The politician, who is also a Member of the European Parliament for the European People’s Party, sees Euronews Portuguese as a valuable medium to deliver European news to a worldwide Read more
*Article Courtesty of the European Journalism Centre
Are you fed up with the tedious working hours in your cubicle? And don’t you have to admit that the news editor is a walking nagger whom you cannot stand? Would you rather be your own boss? If so, freelancing is obviously the way to go.
Being a freelance journalist in Lithuania, however, i.e. handling your time the way you want and taking on gigs you desire, might turn out to be quite a different experience from what it means in a Western European country or the U.S.
She’s searching for a “third road” to finance journalism, as the current private business solution of financing newsrooms with advertising revenue no longer seems to work. Hence, she suggests a transformation for journalism – similar to that taken on by medical doctors and lawyers – into a state of professional, collegial self-organization. Given journalism’s relevance for democracy, she suggests that the state should become responsible for “the reorganization of journalism, including its funding.” The “journalist” would become a “protected denomination of a profession, which is bound at theoretical and practical training curricula and respective exams” – similar to the profession’s status in Italy, where, however, such state exams have not helped improve Read more