After months of roundtable discussions and local and international expert work, the Albanian Media Institute in collaboration with the Albanian Media Council, organised a meeting in Tirana on 29 March to present to a wide audience the revised Journalistic Code of Ethics as well as the Ethical Guidelines for Online Media. This action is a timely effort of making adjustments in accordance with international practices and norms as well as extending the guidelines of the Code to cover the new forms of media expression that the Internet has created.
Many journalists expressed the opinion that the task is not finished until the main media in the country and their editorial desks and staff, endorse the Code and commit to use it as a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide – regardless of medium – as well as until publishers, editors, broadcasting managers, as well as journalists at large embrace and abide by its principles to maintain public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence, and accountability.
The Journalistic Code would provide the framework and standards to the Albanian Media Council (AMC), which has started to function as the voluntary self-regulation mechanism that will ensure that the media meets its responsibilities. AMC is the platform for all journalists who support the idea that the use of the freedom of the media should be guided by the principles of truthfulness and accuracy.
AMC will give primary consideration to freedom of expression and public interest by providing the public with an independent forum for resolving complaints involving newspapers, magazines, websites and other digital media. The Council’s work will also involve promoting media freedom and the highest professional standards.
Supporting the action was made possible through the joint program of EU-CoE “Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe (JUFREX)”, and once again expresses the commitment of these two organisations to the development of an independent media as a cornerstone to democracy in Albania.