Research for a “Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” (SLAM) ” – Albania

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Official project name:Structured Learning for Awareness in Media
Project acronym:#SLAM
Project lifetime:15/11/2019 – 16/11/2021
Project number:608486-EPP-1-2019-1-BA-EPPKA2-CBY-WB – SLAM
Project webpage:www.slam.net
Project hastag:#SLAM
Project Facebook group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/712648785881624/


Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” (SLAM) aims at enhancing young people’s awareness and critical thinking on the role of Mass Media as a challenge and precondition for more inclusive societies towards migrants and refugees. The Council of Europe’s Report “Media Regulatory Authorities and Hate Speech” (2018) underlines the historical significance of media in enticing and feeding the climate of hatred and violence characterizing West Balkan’s turbulent past. The Balkans are still a primary example of media consciously or even deliberately using hate speech for sensationalistic purposes, thereby supporting it and causing its recurrence and reinforcement at the societal level. Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently taken a foremost importance as a transit node for migrants and refugees seeking entrance in EU territory, a trend which the UNHCR (2018) recognized as exponentially increasing in 2018, from the 198 arrivals in December 2017 to the 666 registered in the peak month of March 2018. The strain posed on the local relief system by this surge has contributed to a growing sense of local unrest and discontent, which national mass media have so far been able to answer by providing the public with awareness and understanding circa the phenomenon, in many instances providing an amplifier to internal currents of distrust, hate and stereotyping. From the European perspective, significant indications might be extracted from analysing media coverage about the reception and integration of migrants/refugees. The CoE in its 2017 Report “Media coverage of the refugee crisis: a cross-European perspective” underlines the role played by media in fuelling societal hate speech as consisting in an abetting/legitimacy factor to explicit hate speech brought about by shallow and sensationalistic coverage. Against this backdrop, there emerges the opportunity of exploring the similarities, differences and potential synthesis among the different yet interrelated challenges faced by West Balkans countries and Europe within a transnational effort aimed at laying the grounds of a greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of the youth and, by extension, of society as a means to provide an antidote against phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.


ABOUT RESEARCH:

–              Research on Challenges and Good Practices. A context report outlining the challenges of media coverage and literacy about migration/refugee.  A total of 10 national good practices of youth media literacy with concern to migrants/refugees’ issues to be collected by each partner organization.

–              National processing of data. Producing a Report exploring the gaps between national challenges and the existing good practices as well as outlining specific indications.

TOPIC OF RESEARCH: “The Challenges of Media Coverage and Literacy About Migration/Refugee Issues”
Number of Research:No. 1
  Good practice name:Article: “Syrian refugees find a home in Albania“
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  This article was nicely written by a journalist and it also included an interview with a Syrian Immigrant in Albania, promoting Albania as a good example of how the government and the people themselves have welcomed and helped refugees coming especially from war countries such as Syria.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)Deutsche Welle in Albanian
  Website (if available):https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/6159/syrian-refugees-find-a-home-in-albania
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)This is definitely a positive story shared by the media, so everybody that reads it, especially the immigrants or refugees, can understand that there are many countries that can offer them some good opportunities to live and develop themselves. Most of them are tending to go to Western European countries, and they are facing so many difficulties for that, but instead they can choose to stay in a small, modest, but welcoming country as Albania.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):This article is a very good example of how the media can spread positivity regarding this topic. The whole article is kindly written, fully respectful towards the immigrants and the locals.  
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 2
  Good practice name:Coverage: “Hungry and abused: Albania deprives refugees of minimal rights”
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  In this coverage, reporters of BIRN Albania, show the difficult conditions in which refugees live in the National Asylum Seeker Center, in outskirts of Tirana. They are totally realistic. The reports have interviewed many on the Refugees and all of them tell the same things: The conditions there do not reach any of the basic human rights. The representative of The Albanian Community of Helsinki says that the Albanian government is obliged to fulfill all the necessary conditions for the refugees, due to the International Convents for Refugees.
Organization that has implemented t   he good practice: (name of the organization)BIRN Albania
  Website (if available):https://birn.eu.com/network/birn-albania/   https://www.reporter.al/te-uritur-dhe-te-dhunuar-shqiperia-u-privon-refugjateve-te-drejtat-minimale/
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)This coverage is a good example of how the media supports and tries to make the voices of refugees heard. It actually shows to the public the need of the refugees for help, especially to those who have no idea of National Asylum Seeker Centre existence. People tend to be more empathic after they read this coverage.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):Unfortunately, the issue of refugees is not well known in Albania. Most of the people have no idea of what is happening here with the refugees and this coverage is a very good example of informing the people of what is happening in their country.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 3
  Good practice name:Confessions: Refugees and COVID-19, between the difficult conditions and the inability to move on
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  This article contains some confessions of the refugees about the difficulties they have faced and continue to face, some very important definitions related to this issue, some statistics and also the declaration of the representative of UNHCR in Albania related to the conditions of the refugees in Albania.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)Citizens Channel
  Website (if available):https://citizens-channel.com/2020/07/16/refugjatet-e-huaj-ne-shqiperi-gjate-izolimit-covid-19-mes-kushteve-te-veshtira-dhe-pamundesise-per-te-levizur/
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)The best practise of this confession is the fact that the reporter has included a well detailed definition of the term “Refugee”. This definition, helps the reader to fully understand the conditions and the reason why these people are situated for the moment in Albania.   After the confessions of some refugees, who also show the bad conditions of the National Asylum Seeker Centre, the reporter has done a comparison of the number of the asylum seekers during 2019 and 2020. This comparison shows that the number of asylum seekers has increased by 30% during 2020.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):Including the definition of the terms used in the article and the statistics is a good practise, because it helps the readers to understand better the situation and therefor the information they get is more accurate.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 4
  Good practice name:The pandemic situation blocks the refugees in Albania.
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  In this article are clearly stated the consequences the COVID-19 brought to the refugees in Albania. This article clarifies why is that suddenly Tirana became  full of refugees and why is that people see them all around the streets of the center of Tirana.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)The Voice of America and the organisation: Faktoje.
  Website (if available):https://www.zeriamerikes.com/a/5470717.html
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)Nowadays media is all the time talking about the negative effects of pandemic situation on businesses, Albanian poor families and so on, but this time the media is reflecting the all the consequences that the virus brought to the refugees.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):The holistic approach is the best practice and should be adopted by other media as well.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 5
  Good practice name:Where does the respect of the rights of emigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Albania fail?
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  This article except of showing again the conditions which the refugees are facing in Albania, it also includes a declaration of one of the best Albanian lawyers. 
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)Faktoje
  Website (if available):https://faktoje.al/ku-calon-respektimi-i-te-drejtave-te-emigranteve-refugjateve-dhe-azilkerkuesve-ne-shqiperi/
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)This time this media supports the migrants and refugees situation by the legal point of view.  
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):Describing the situation of migrants and refugees it’s not enough. This is why the reporters have also analysed their situation by the legal part and also has contacted a lawyer for some recommendations for the government.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 6
  Good practice name:The law and rules for migrants and refugees.
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  On this report they are focused on the consequences of the bad migrant and refugees situation in Albania for the locals. There are many burglary happening in the nearby houses of the National Asylum Seeker Center.
Organization that has implemented the  good practice: (name of the organization)Top Channel Albania
  Website (if available):https://top-channel.tv/
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)  All the other reports are mainly focused on the difficulties the Migrants or refugees have, but this one has a big focus on the problems that the locals have because of them and of this crises. The migrants should wait three days to get their permission to stay in Albania but they do not respect this role. Most of them come around in Tirana and its outskirts without this permission.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):This difficult situation should be seen from a holistic point of view as in this report. The authorities want to find out since the beginning how many of the migrants are Asylum Seekers in Albania and want to live and work in Albania.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 7
  Good practice name:Statement by the leader of the Institute for Democracy Armela Xhaho
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  The statistics show an increasing number of refugees and migrants in Albania. We should be careful about this because we might have an overpopulation of the asylum centers.  Due to this there might be delays to fulfilling the rights of the migrants or refugees.  
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)Voice of America
  Website (if available):https://www.zeriamerikes.com/a/5470608.html
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)The representative of UNHCR, Zapata: There are also many young children unaccompanied that come in Albania. We do not have a proper system to identify medically or psychologically if they are minor or not. We need a special centre for the children because they have special needs.   
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):The government sent at the Assembly at the beginning od June, the draft law for the Asylum. All of this is done as part of Albania’s obligations towards the European Union. The representatives of the NGO that are focused on migrant’s rights say that the legislation is okay, but they face difficulties while applying it.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 8
  Good practice name: 
  Country of implementation: 
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  Every foreign clandestine that comes in Albania, has the right to ask for asylum from our country. Until now, there have been 60 foreign citizens, politically persecuted in their countries. In Tirana, there is an office for the refugees.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)KLAN Television
  Website (if available):https://tvklan.al/     
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)
This report says that are excepted 15 of all the requests to give asylum. from all the requests. These people are from Iraq, Sudan and an Albanian from Montenegro.  According to Idar Bistrit, juristi i kësaj zyre, pasi the lawyer of the refugees office in Tirana, it is a must that the person asking for asylum live in Albania and prove that he/she/them are politically persecuted in their homeland.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):This can be considered as a good practise due to the concrete information it transmits. It shows another part of the issue. There aren’t only refugees wanting to go in EU countries, but also some of them want to stay in Albania and live their life here.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 9
  Good practice name:Reporting about the migrants and refugees. Media recommendations
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted  It is important for the reporters, journalists, editors and the photographers to understand that when they do mistakes other people suffer because of that. The careless and unprofessional work regarding the issue of migrants and refugees, in a way or another will always hurt the defenseless. This is why UNCHR has published this great manual with advices and recommendations about the media.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)UNHCR
  Website (if available):https://www.unhcr.org/see/wp-content/uploads/sites/57/2019/02/Reporting-on-Refugees-ALB-FINAL.pdf
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.)The manual gives answer to the most important questions: Who is a migrant, who is a refugee, who is a asylum seeker what is the difference between them? etc. Then it continues with some recommendations for during the process of interviewing these target groups: taking photo and recording videos, reporting it to media.  
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):This manual transmits these  main points where to be focused while working with the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers: 1-Be based on facts and not in judgements 2-Get to know the law 3-Show humanism 4-Be the voice of everyone 5-Challenge the hate  
0Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Number of Research:No. 10
  Good practice name:The annual report of the National Asylum Seeker Center in Albania
  Country of implementation:Albania
  Short description: Short description of good practice to be highlighted   The National Asylum Seeker Center presents this report focused on the work and institutional activity during 2019, through a detailed analysis. This report shows the achieved results ad also the problems the Center has faced during this time.
Organization that has implemented the good practice: (name of the organization)The National Asylum Seeker Center
  Website (if available):https://mb.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/RAPORT-VJETOR-2019-QKPA.pdf
What aspect of good governance is covering the mentioned practice: (ex. Good practices how media supported migrant and refugee crises in your country, how media shared positive stories, etc.) The year 2019 has been very important and challenging for the Centre because it has been a bigger number of asylum seekers that are accommodated at this centre, compared to the previous year. The asylum seekers were people from Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  the Centre’s priority has been to organize the accommodation and offering the necessary services.
Why can be considered as good practice and adopted by other media entities: (full information of what is the good practice exactly and why it is useful):In this report they have presented in details the achievement of the Centre, the legal procedures for asylum seeking, the collaboration of the centre with the police, the financial part and the financial plan of the centre, the problems faced during 2019 and the priorities and objectives of the year 2020.
Picture: Please attach to the e-mail picture or screenshot from the practice (please ask for photo rights or send us your own pictures)    Source: ………………………
Disclaimer

This report constitutes one of the deliverables of the BRAVO-led “SLAM” project, co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

For any comment on this research, please contact BRAVO: [email protected]

Project researchers
ORGANIZATIONCOUNTRYNAME OF RESEARCHER
Youth for Social ChangesAlbaniaGentjan Hajdari

In this report have been used materials from all project events and public recourses and information.

Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.