The 2016 contests for EU awards for investigative journalism in Western Balkans and Turkey are now closed in all seven countries.
Albania: Roundtable discussion on investigative journalism and media coverage of terrorism
Featuring the winners of the first prize of EU Investigative Journalism Award in Albania.
Albanian Media Institute organized a meeting with journalists from print, online, and audiovisual media on November 27, with the aim of discussing the influence of the war in Syria and terrorism on Albanian society and its media coverage. Invited speakers were Aleksandra Bogdani and Flamur Vezaj, winners of the first prize of the EU Investigative Journalism Award in Albania for 2014, as well as Lutfi Dervishi, chair of the jury and media expert.
The two journalists shared their experience and information about the process of writing the series of three articles on Albanians going to fight to Syria and about process of their recruitment. The discussion addressed the numerous facets that media have to consider when reporting on terrorism, such as the historical background on development of Islam and recent radicalization processes in Albania, the importance of using official sources and documents, the need to contextualize the stories, the importance of giving a human face to these threats and developments, as well as the ethical aspect of reporting on people that seem to be indoctrinated and radicalized. The journalists spoke of the process they followed in detail, ranging from anonymous official sources and information to attempts to contact the persons returned from Syria or their family members.
Apart from the specific case, the present journalists also focused on the issues that plague the development of investigative journalism in the country, such as shortage of newsroom staff, lack of time and resources, competition pressure, and general tabloidization of the media in the country. However, the discussion also evolved on new topics and techniques that can be explored in order to refresh and reinforce investigative journalism in the country.