Flash News


OSCE: The media should not be encouraged to violate ethics and standards during the election campaign

OSCE: The media should not be encouraged to violate ethics and standards during


In Tirana, the OSCE and other Western institutions today appealed to the participants in the May 14 local elections not to put pressure on the Albanian media to change professional standards and ethics, but to help them fulfill them. They spoke with concern about the pressures placed on journalists in their work, especially during election campaigns.

The Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Guido de Sanctis, emphasized today in the meeting with the CEC and other local and international representatives that the ODIHR in the report on the 2021 elections devoted several important parts to the state of the Albanian media, where it is spoken with concern over the freedom of the media, its editorial independence, the transparency of the campaign as well as the security of the journalists' working conditions.

He emphasized that parties spend a lot on their media appearances and the risk of this investment is that candidates can take control of the content of media reports during the campaign.

"Our observers of the missions led by ODIHR have emphasized in every election the importance of editorial independence in the media and the need to support them in creating conditions to avoid self-censorship, because journalists often talk about the many pressures they face in their work during reporting. OSCE supports the media in fulfilling the standards of professional ethics, transparency to accurately inform about the progress of the campaigns. All factors and partners need to dialogue, to find solutions, so that the media implements the principles of professional ethics", says Ambassador De Sanctis.

Western diplomats and local experts discussed together the financing of the election campaign, hate speech, the role of the media, as well as ethical standards during the election campaign.

The head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, Olsi Dekovi, emphasized that hate speech during the election campaign brings serious consequences such as intolerance, division and possible violence.

"Hate speech can contribute to political polarization, hostility between groups, intolerance and mistrust between different communities, marginalization of particular groups. Hate speech can also discourage people from voting, when they hear that there may be threats or violence near the ballot boxes. Therefore, we encourage you to put aside the language of hatred from all actors and from social media", says Mr. Dekovi.

While the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Ilirjan Celibashi, emphasized that the media should be allowed to carry out their duties of informing the public freely and without pressure, this work is particularly important during election campaigns, while a real challenge remains the legal non-regulation of online media. .

"Social networks and online media have received a great development in this field as well, but they still do not have the appropriate legal regulations. We hope that in the electoral reform, this will be resolved. Nothing prevents the Assembly and the parties from establishing rules in this area of ​​great public interest", says Mr. Celibashi.

Albania is on the verge of the campaign for the local elections, while it has become common for the campaign to start many weeks and months earlier than the legal deadlines, with promises, speeches and inaugurations.

The media have also started to get involved in the election atmosphere, talking about potential candidates, but the concern of internationals and the CEC is that it remains a balanced information tool on political platforms and not a propaganda instrument in close party service and in violation of professional standards and ethics./ VOA

Latest news