Groups Raise Concern after Government Ally Elected to Head Key Media Regulator

The International Press Institute (IPI) has joined its partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a consortium of press freedom organizations in Europe, and issued a statement expressing concern about the future impartiality and independence of Albania’s Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) following the election of a close associate of the ruling Socialist Party to head the media regulator, has said IPI Advocacy Officer Jamie Wiseman.

Under Albanian media law, the AMA is required to be a politically independent authority. Impartial leadership of such regulatory bodies is vital for upholding public trust in a country’s media landscape and strengthening professional standards. Media freedom is deeply connected to regulatory responsibility, as powers to sanction alleged breaches of media law and decide on the allocation of broadcast licenses must be applied fairly.

“The appointment of a partisan figure with long-standing links to the ruling party, in the absence of opposition votes in parliament, therefore risks seriously undermining the credibility and legitimacy of the AMA, as well as wider trust in the Albanian media ecosystem,” said the statement released by Ms. Wiseman on Tuesday.

In conclusion it is said that the International Press Institute will continue to follow this issue closely, as well as the so-called “anti-defamation package” in the coming weeks and months.

Armela Krasniqi, the former spokesperson of the Socialist Party and Director of the state-run Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATSH) has been appointed the head of AMA, Audiovisual Media Authority, with 83 votes in the Albanian Parliament. This appointment came with a decision of the Council of Ministers and a proposal of Prime Minister Edi Rama. / Argumentum.al