Lutfi Dervishi: Agresioni ndaj Televizonit publik

Lutfi Dervishi: Agresioni ndaj Televizonit publik

Lutfi Dervishi

Public television does not have many friends, especially in Albania! There are many enemies. Politics attack it from both sides and it attacks private operators for private interests! Quite understandable!

Due to an engagement abroad, I could not watch a special show on public television last night due to the arrest of the former director by SPAK!

Even though the lawyer is on the show and explains the accusation, even though Carlo Bollino with the quality of a man who has built not one, but two televisions clarify the issue, still in the accusation bank even if it was not Thoma Gëllçi is RTSH!

You must be blind or have time left in 2015 not to see what has happened to the public broadcaster during the last 5 years!

In every friendly or hostile debate, in the television studio, or in informal conversations, all those who boasted and excitedly told me: we do not watch public television, I asked them a question: Agree! Which television/program do you watch ?! I have not received an answer to this question! Maybe my interlocutors were ashamed to say what program they see and I call this very positive! When you are reluctant, to tell the truth, it means that you do not feel good about your truth!

First, digitalization is over! This now not only seems easy but is taken for granted! The loan of 26 million euros is paid by RTSH and not only the loan with interest is paid, but also the maintenance of the network is paid in millions of euros!

When he speaks like a sailor who in the absence of binoculars puts his hand on his forehead to see the seashore you will certainly not only make mistakes, but you will also make mistakes!

ART revenues and expenditures are public and anyone can get them without getting tired and without talking by asking for the annual report on the ART website, or in the annual report submitted to the Assembly - and every citizen based on the information law the public can get any document they ask even just for sick curiosity!

Before 2016 - RTSH had even more funds! Coming out with a package of channels - has certainly affected interests and many ask: what do we need these channels? How can Public Television have so many channels ?! Why not keep one channel two more, here are 3 channels ?!

For example, one might ask: what do we need in "RTSH schools", which for two years filled the gap of school closures in Albania ?! For this question, I have no answer - perhaps for the fact that private TV rushed to fill the gap and did the job better ?!

Another may ask why we need a dedicated sports channel to watch for free the Albanian championship, the European, world championship, or dozens of sports franchises ?! Even for this question, I have no answer that maybe it is better to pay for private platforms? Do not enjoy the free thing!

Should ART have a channel dedicated to minorities? Probably not because as we see everyday minorities are a big concern for any private operator! This is evident!

Yes, 24-hour news channel, why have RTSH? Do we have about 15 of them? The big events that have passed - the earthquake, the pandemic, the departure of the opposition from the system, the coverage of the daily protests where would they be reflected?

But should there be an "RTSH Assembly"? Or how many times does the Assembly convene to destroy the programming of RTSH1 and we have it easier ?!

But should there be a channel dedicated to Albanians abroad? I say no - yes it is a legal obligation!

But why should the public broadcaster have a channel dedicated to music? A channel dedicated to Albanian film? Dedicated channel for a foreign film? Why should they be when you can very well see them for a fee on private platforms? How can you lose the pleasure of catching an offer and watch free programs ?!

Why the hell should there be one or two channels dedicated to children when today you leave enough mobile phones in the hands of children and not only are they informed and entertained but also educated ?! Today, parents pay for their children wherever they go, why not pay for it at home and watch children's channels on private platforms ?!

What does it mean to have a channel dedicated to "Agro" for a country like Albania where only 50% of the population lives in the countryside ?! Where only 220 thousand farmers have NIPT, where agriculture gives us only 20% of GDP? What is it about, when private operators have the biggest concern farmers and especially their needs and worries ?!

Today there is a lot of talk about the need for local journalism - why should RTSH invest and make local studios in Kukës, Shkodër, Korçë, Gjirokastër, when we can very well do local journalism from Tirana ?!

Why should we have 12 out of 3 Radio channels?

Why should we invest in the application "RTSH Tani" or do the Albanians have a few problems where they are, we are "forcing" them to have access wherever they are and to see the problems of Albania ?!

Why should they invest in the RTSH web after the verdict has been given: no one sees it ?! And, interestingly, I hear this "no one sees" from people who only have no connection with people!

Why did foreign donors start coming to produce critical programs for ART ?! Have the people who give money become so naive ?! Or maybe they come because RTSH does not blackmail anyone, does not impose fines, and has not had a personal agenda ?!

Why has ART proved so incompetent and failed to make a political program where guests can be beaten, screamed, and made famous with the audience? Is it simply an inability to adapt to the times or is there something that needs to be investigated in detail ?!

RTSH is paid with our taxes ?! When ignorant people say it is ok when journalists say it is hilarious! There is a difference between tax and fee! Every Albanian family pays a 100 lek per month fee for ART! He has always paid! It is the lowest tariff on the continent! And raising the fee would increase independence, quality, and accountability! That is what Albanians paid in 2015! But the offer of 2021 with 2015 is like a night with the day!

Finally, once again on the issue of Gëllçi: this is a tender worth 700 thousand euros! Tender, investment, and not abuse, words that some chew like the gum they just put in their mouths - to buy equipment for the dedicated Agro canal - which would be supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and other donors! This did not happen. But the equipment is at work, the output and transmission quality is HD. What about the programs? There is more value, 1000 times more the program "Green Space" that has been done for years by the journalist Marash Mirashi than any murmur that reminds you of the noise of hunters when they get lost in the reeds!

Are there any RTSH problems? No end! But have you seen better reports than RTSH journalists in cases of disasters, earthquakes, pandemics, elections? (Maybe the ranking should start from the bottom)

RTSH today should be compared to what it was 5 years ago and not to the BBC! Of course, better programs are needed - more funding for programs could have been spent in the first place! But good programs need good equipment and quality broadcasting! How the quality of production and transmission have been not on the ground, but in the pit!

The problems have not been and never are easy!

The problem of nepotism, disability in ART has been identified and made public in the media since 1980 - the results in this regard are very controversial, but in ART there are not only black spots!

From an institution that was the next whip for the next opposition, ART became a politically balanced institution! The opposition not only was not flogged as once upon a time but has had all the space and even prayed to be on the public screen!

In every country of the region in opposition protests anger has been poured on state TV - here - as a reminder, private operators perceived by angry people/protesters as the red carpet of the government have been attacked!

By nature those who know me know that I am more cynical and often pessimistic!

After 5 years, after 5 months, after 5 weeks, or after 5 days we will see if RTSH will make even better programs, will consolidate what it has achieved, and will reach new heights? Or it will return to the adage "Thessaloniki downhill as it was will be"! The work is public and the trial will be public!


Two actions are spectacular: the removal of the director and the non-election of the director for 5 months! Maybe the Board is looking for and still is not finding a man to have the platform and manage to do in 5 years, so much so that the man who is today arrested on charges of "abuse of duty" that the purchased equipment arrived 16 days late!

These are signs that maybe we do well to start and remember what RTSH was all these years - that we may not have it anymore!

But for now: give Caesar what belongs to Caesar!

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