BIRN Albania launches Media Monitoring Study on Corruption

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched a media monitoring study, ‘Reporting Corruption on Broadcast and Print Media: The Case of Albania’, at a workshop in Tirana on Thursday April 16.

About 25 representatives of civil society organizations and journalists participated in the event at which the findings of the study were presented and debated.

The study is part of BIRN Albania’s programme called ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania’, which is financed by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA).

The report assessed Albanian media reporting on corruption, as well as its adherence to the guiding principles of journalism which make it possible for news organizations to be an effective tool against corruption.

The objective of the study is to present and interpret a summary of the general characteristics as well as the quality and reliability of the reporting of Albanian media on issues and cases of corruption, based on a set of quantitative indicators, in order to identify possible problems and shortfalls in the implementation of journalistic standards.

The findings of this monitoring initiative are intended to be used as reference material to assist the various local and international actors involved in media development in Albania, local journalists’ unions, as well as reporters and editors, in undertaking projects and activities that could eventually increase both the quantity and the quality of reporting on corruption, impunity and efficiency of anti-corruption initiatives.

To download a copy of the report in Albanian click here.

To download a copy of the report in English click here.

Albania Reporters Trained on Likely Impact of Reform

On February 20th and 21st BIRN Albania held a two-day workshop in the city of Durres with ten journalists on the country’s administrative and territorial reform and its impact on the local elections, due at the end of June. 

The training was held as part of the “Accountability in Local Governance through Citizen Participation and Civic Journalism” project, supported by the US Embassy in Albania Democracy Small Grants Program.

This project aims to bridge the gap between local voters and mayoral candidates ahead of the 2015 local elections, by strengthening the capacities of CSOs, grassroots organizations, activists and the media in order to identify and stimulate public debate on the key issues facing local communities.

Reporters were trained by two independent experts on the changes that the new administrative reform will bring to the administrative map, on the way new municipalities are organized, and on the impact these changes will have on local governance and democracy.

The journalists also were also presented with information on how the administrative reform will impact on the upcoming electoral contest. 

The ten journalists, representing local media in Albania, were also trained by BIRN editors into identifying important issues for local communities in cooperation with CSOs.

Following the two-day formal training, the local journalists will develop a working plan and carry out at least 30 interviews and open discussions sessions (focus groups) with representatives of grassroots organizations, activists and representatives of relevant groups in each region of the country.

The interviews with community members will aim to identify key issues for each population subgroup in the run-up to the local elections.

BIRN Albania Launches Call for Investigative Reports on Justice

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched a call for investigative stories on February 26st.

The call is part of the program ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania,’ supported by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA),  the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In this call that closes on February 6th, three journalists will be awarded a grant to cover their expenses while doing the investigation and writing the story on issues related to corruption and impunity in the justice sector.

Journalists will have about two months to dig deeper and research their ideas, but also will have the opportunity to work with experienced editors as their mentors to guide them through the process of writing to BIRN standards.

More calls for investigative grants will follow, for a total of 21 stories until December 2016.Topics for investigations of future calls will include: Health, Organized Crime, Local Government and Public Administration.

The call only applies to journalists from Albania.

Click for more information about the application procedure, with details in Albanian.

BIRN Albania Holds Roundtable on Justice

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Albania organised a roundtable on January 20th in Tirana, bringing together journalists and civil society organisations working in the field of justice and the rule of law.

It was the third in a series of seven roundtables, part of a programme called ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania’, which is financed by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA),  the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The project aims to expose corruption cases in seven different sectors: the environment, the judiciary, education, public administration, local government, organised crime and health, by bridging the gap between journalists and CSOs, and by providing a solid basis for collaboration in exposing abuses of power.

About 12 representatives of non-governmental organisations and six journalists discussed different topics of concern regarding education in Albania, with a special focus on corruption and impunity in the judicial system.

The representatives of the NGOs listed a number of topics, ranging from bribery, nepotism and abuse of office in the judicial system, the promotion of judges, the functioning of the High Council of Justice and others.

The topics highlighted by the NGOs will be listed in BIRN Albania’s call for investigative stories in the field of justice.

BIRN Albania Launches Call for Investigative Reports on Education

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched a call for investigative stories on October 23rd. 
The call is part of the program ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania,’ supported by th Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In this call that closes on October 31, three journalists will be awarded a grant to cover their expenses while doing the investigation and writing the story on issues related to corruption and impunity in education.

Journalists will have about two months to dig deeper and research their ideas, but also will have the opportunity to work with experienced editors as their mentors to guide them through the process of writing to BIRN standards.

More calls for investigative grants will follow, for a total of 21 stories until December 2016. Topics for investigations of future calls will include: Health, Judiciary, Organized Crime, Local Government and Public Administration.
The call only applies to journalists from Albania.

Click for more information about the application procedure, with details in Albanian.

BIRN Albania Holds Roundtable on Education

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Albania organised a roundtable on October 21st in Tirana, bringing together journalists with civil society organisations working in the field of education.

It was the second in a series of seven roundtables, part of a programme called ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania’, which is financed by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA),  the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The project aims to expose corruption cases in seven different sectors: the environment, the judiciary, education, public administration, local government, organised crime and health, by bridging the gap between journalists and CSOs, and by providing a solid basis for collaboration in exposing abuses of power.

About 22 representatives of non-governmental organisations and 10 journalists discussed different topics of concern regarding education in Albania, with a special focus on pre-university education.

The representatives of the NGOs listed a number of topics, ranging from access and quality of education for minorities and other marginalised groups, to the recruitment of teachers and the education budget, which merit special attention and coverage from the media.

The topics highlighted by the NGOs will be listed in BIRN Albania’s call for investigative stories in the field of education.

BIRN Albania Launches Reporter.al News Site

Over 40 representatives of the media, non-governmental organisations and partners attended the official launch of BIRN Albania’s news website Reporter.al on October 3.

The guests were greeted by Andi Dobrushi, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), and BIRN’s English-language editor Marcus Tanner.

Reporter.al is a general news website designed to promote excellence in journalism, with a particular focus on investigative reporting, with stories that cover the war against corruption and impunity in the country.

The interactive website will publish investigative stories, analyses, reports and blogs, but also features from Albania and the region in the local language.

Through the website, BIRN will expand its reporting from Albania with special projects on media development, culture, elections and human rights.

Since it went live on September 1, the website has received more than 150,000 visitors.

The online publication is supported by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD).

Gjergj Erebara

Gjergj Erebara is journalist for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, in Albania.

Since 1998 he has worked as a journalist for various print publications, electronic media and televisions. He has a bachelor degree in Journalism and Master of Science degree in Economic History from University of Lund.

BIRN Albania Launches Reporter.al Website

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania has launched a new website designed to bring its award winning news, analysis, features and investigations to local audiences, and strengthen the cooperation between journalists and civil society.

The website, launched on Monday, is part of the BIRN Albania’s programme ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania’, supported by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD).

Reporter.al is a general news website designed to promote excellence in journalism, with a particular focus in investigative reporting, with stories that cover the war against corruption and impunity in the country.

The interactive website will publish investigative stories, analysis, reports, blogs, but also features from Albania and the region in local language.

Through the website BIRN will expand its reporting from Albania with special projects on media development, culture, elections and human rights.

BIRN Albania Seeks Three Monitoring Experts on How Media Report Corruption

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched an open call on Wednesday for media monitoring experts for a study on how corruption is reported by local media outlets.

The call is part of the programme ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania’, supported by the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy, NED.

The purpose of the programme is to contribute to overall democratization processes in Albania by bridging the gap between civil society organizations and journalists, building their capacities and creating common ground for joint action in exposing corruption cases in the country, by providing journalists with necessary reporting skills, and regular reporting in the Albanian language on the misuse of power in the country. 

BIRN Albania seeks three monitoring experts, who will be engaged for a three-month period, starting August 20, 2014, to monitor six media outlets, three newspapers and three national television stations.

The successful candidates should fulfill the following requirements:

–          University degree, preferably in communications or journalism;
–          Excellent Albanian and English language skills;
–          Previous experience in media monitoring or media development;
–          Excellent communication skills and willingness to work as part of a team.

The candidates who are chosen will have the following responsibilities:

–          Daily monitoring of articles on corruption in selected media outlets for a three-month period;
–          Preparing daily reports on published or broadcast stories;
–          Contributing to data analysis for a monitoring study;
–          Contributing to the writing of the media monitoring study.

Deadline for applications is August 12, 2014.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Interested candidates should send a CV and a letter of interest to [email protected]

BIRN Albania is an equal opportunity employer.