On 18 September, the OSCE Presence in Albania organized its ninth annual Media Development Forum, a platform for dialogue among media, public institutions and civil society. This year’s Forum focused on journalist safety, media legislation, and effects of artificial intelligence on the work of media in Albania.
During the opening remarks, Ambassador Bruce Berton, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, emphasized the commitment of the Presence toward the cause of press freedom and freedom of the media in the country. “It is crucial that the media are provided the tools and institutional policies to help them navigate the rapidly changing information ecosystem in a responsible and ethical manner. In keeping with OSCE principles that the government has committed to, as one of our 57 participating states, the Albanian public institutions must allow the media the space to operate in an unobstructed way. Thus, we encourage authorities to be mindful of balance, and carefully weigh in the dissemination of information that is important for the public to know. Facts must always be allowed to come to light, even they if call for accountability or call out abuses or corruption,” Ambassador Berton said.
Adea Pirdeni, Albanian Deputy Minister of Justice, Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media, Ambassador Luigi Soreca, Chargé d’affaires a.i., EU Delegation to Albania, Giulia Re, Head of the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Tirana, also delivered welcoming remarks.
The Forum’s second session was dedicated to the main challenges emerging with the recent extended use of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on media. Discussions focused on the importance of transparence, access to information and the verification of facts as a tool in the fight against corruption and in promoting professional journalism.