OP-ED

Why they 'heroized' Imer Mushkola of Kosovo in Tirana

Why they 'heroized' Imer Mushkola of Kosovo in Tirana

Alfred Lela

I met Imer Mushkola at press conferences related to the media, in the Balkans or Europe. I already knew him from his comments in the Kosovar press. The meetings left me feeling good, as did his text.

A few days ago we 'met' in another form. Through the 'fame' he gained in several newspapers and portals of Tirana. Authors from the most diverse, from acquaintances to strangers, from those who know how to write to those who are obsessed with the text, rushed to crown Imer as "the missing journalist in Tirana".

At least that's what the headlines said. Not knowing Imer's deeds, I opened the first of them to understand that, in a TV interview in Kosovo of former Prime Minister Berisha, Mushkola had called him a 'killer'.

Other titles, accompanied by other texts, focused on this accusation to praise the colleague from Kosovo. Accompanied by a complaint: how, here in Albania, there are journalists who do not say such things to Berisha, but ask him questions and even gossip in front of him. There have been cases, of course, when public people, not journalists, have told Berisha that "my mom had fun", etc., etc., but one or several such do not illustrate all journalism.

But what hyperbolized Imer's bravery and journalism was the fact that most of those who praised him for this rare act, had themselves called Berisha "murderer" and "corrupt". They heroized their Kosovar colleague for the fact that, having called himself such for so long, they had hoped that they had retired the former prime minister, they had 'killed him politically', ie. Since he decided to return, more than with Berisha, they seem to resent the inefficiency of their political 'cure': removing someone through lynching charges. 

As a reminder, Berisha has never lacked such epithets. Some journalists have told him to live in the TV studio. Everyone is in good health, just as anti-Berisha as ever. Make a Mustafa Nanos wire, for example.

Berisha's lynching has kept many journalists busy in Albania, and it is time for them to return to the work of the old refrain. But that is not the purpose of this article. What should be noted is that it does not make you a good journalist to be called the 'killer' of a politician. This is not the job of a journalist. He must bring facts and have them based on sources and evidence so that they can be called facts. When there is no evidence, but he is making comments or giving opinions, it is good that he never overcomes the limitations, neither of craft nor of ethics.

Labeling politicians is not that it hurts them, quite the opposite: it can victimize them and, in addition, line up even more fanatics behind it. It is even the inflation of vague accusations that helps politicians commit atrocities and stay in office. There is no saving in the accusations exchanged between politicians or even between analysts who support one side or the other. What the unsubstantiated accusations, in fact, have done, is the spectacle for the evening shows, but also the perversion of the public. In a public space, where everyone is labeled as 'murderer' and 'thief', it is difficult, if not impossible, for the honest to stand out. That is why mud is a transversal and widely used instrument.

This applies, of course, to Rama's lynchers as well. Paradoxically, those who cursed him more helped him more. In the end, the journalist is not in his job to formulate accusations but to find clues and relate parts of events and contexts when analyzing.

In the end, I am sure that the 'heroism' of Tirana, which is more than praise for a diversion for a political enemy, will not push Imer towards abandoning the journalist's tools. Charges are not analysis. They are not even a fact, as long as they are not followed by a test.

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