BIRN Albania Publishes Online Court and Crime Reporting Manual

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The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania has published an online court and crime reporting manual which aims to strengthen the capacities of local journalists to report on complex cases from local courts and law enforcement institutions.

The manual was written by Flutura Kusari, an international expert on media law, Albanian media expert Elira Canga and Dorian Matlija from the Res Publica legal centre in Tirana. The drafting and publication of the manual, entitled ‘Reporting of Court and Criminal Cases in the Media’, was supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the USAID-funded ‘Justice for All’ project.

Published in the Albanian language, the manual is an online resource for reporters, journalism students, researchers and people who have an interest in how the media reports on criminal cases and court cases which are of legitimate public interest.

The manual was drafted to give journalists and media practitioners, but also to the wider public, an understanding of the institutions and the hierarchy of the judicial system in Albania and the path that civil, criminal and administrative cases follow.

The manual also aims to serve as a resource for journalists who report from the courts and on criminal cases on daily basis, in order to better understand their rights and responsibilities, the regulations and self-regulation of the media, the right to information and access to public court documents as envisioned in the local legal framework, as well as best international practices.

Published with the goal of being periodically updated, the manual also provides ample tip sheets for journalists who report from courts and on crime cases, as well as advice on how to protect sources and whistleblowers.