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Ruçi's fatwa against journalists: Why, everyone imitates Mayor Veliaj

Ruçi's fatwa against journalists: Why, everyone imitates Mayor

The decision of the Bureau of the Assembly to prevent journalists from reporting adds another page to the book of anti-freedom of Rama's majority. Just when most expected the rope to loosen, it tightened even more, contrary to Prime Minister's rhetoric, who called for cooperation with the opposition.

It is about setting up an exclusion area for political reporters in the Presidency or Assembly, called the Press Room, where the reporters can watch parliamentary sessions or committee meetings.

This means, first, the restriction of journalists' physical freedoms, a degradation of his/her role and status, a violation of the right to be in an arena where public debate occurs, and to convey what is in the public's interest. 

Gramoz Ruçi and his ridiculous Politbyro, many members of which aren't more qualified than the Parliament's sanitary workers (with all due respect for the work of the latter), establishes a vetting mechanism that occurs only in war situations and territories. Only in such cases are journalists accompanied by guards and backed by strict security measures.

From the birth of the role of the messenger, mediator, or journalist, their main attribute has been to be, to go where is forbidden for others, to convey what the powerful do with the sovereign's prerogatives, an authority that is not theirs, but of the institution, and even though bestowed upon them, but never is in permanence and impunity.

This news is horrible, especially considering how many bad news the world of politics delivers daily for the media. It's worse than the so-called anti-defamation law because, in its malice, it aims to eclipse the role of the journalists and turn them into some sort of employees of the Assembly administration. It's worse than the evaporation of the press conference, a confrontation with the public that, since the socialist majority came to power, is becoming an endangered species. It's worse than the pre-recorded tapes and press releases that the administration sends to the newsrooms, leaving the public only with the curated, controlled, and propagandistic message of the marketing annexes and government PR.

The obstruction that Gramoz Ruçi places on fact-finding seems like something straight out of the books of communism from which he hails. It's an attempt to censor the mediating instrument of free media in a free society.

Knowing that he is refractory in communications with the media, this is understandable. But, what is the style of Mr. Ruçi does not have to be the essence of democracy, even one as fragile as Albania's. If the Speaker can not stand the media, he can not reduce its role, much less try to undo it.

Of course, if there were men among the owners or executives of TV stations, the solution would be straightforward and, at the same time, effective: abandonment of all activities of the Parliament and its members, i.e., a total blackout for that part of politics.

But, knowing that our televisions are free riders of information without news, I don't believe that this will happen. This kind of controlled parliamentary system must be rejected; otherwise, it will undo even the little hybridism left to our democracy, leading us to totalitarianism.

There is no hope on the opposition side either. Lulzim Basha, blinded by the appetite to win where he does not have to and to lose where he should not, has not uttered a word about Ruçi's fatwa. For understandable reasons. He is also interested in the blockade. Because he also is more interested in the workings of political propaganda than democracy and media freedom. Because he also makes phone calls or sends envoys to media owners to mute voices or shows that he doesn't like

So, it seems like everyone wants to be like Erion Veliaj in this country. If Ilir Meta introduced 'government subsidy' for the media, in the form of advertising (favoring friends and rejecting critics), Erion Velaij created a communication superstructure, where the journalist's role was eliminated. He is the most present politician in the media, and at the same time, the least covered.

There never is a media presence in his meetings, but municipal officials play a journalist's role.

Edi Rama followed this style, and now, here it comes, with the long shadow of a communist, the one who should have been, in fact, the first (but lacks the sophistication of the former two), Gramoz Ruçi.

We are, therefore, finally, surrounded.

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