Joint statement by Head of OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco and UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, Fiona McCluney
03 May 2022
- On occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2022
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
Independent, free and pluralistic media are central to good governance and the rule of law. They contribute to ensure transparency and accountability, promote participation in public and political discourse, and foster democratic processes.
3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. As highlighted by the UN Secretary General, on World Press Freedom Day “we shine a spotlight on the essential work of journalists and other media workers who seek transparency and accountability from those in power, often at great personal risk. (…) Without freedom of the press, there are no real democratic societies. Without freedom of the press, there is no freedom.”
This year’s World Press Freedom Day, under the theme “Journalism under digital siege”, spotlights the multiple ways in which journalism is endangered by surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks on journalists, and the consequences on public trust in digital communications. The digital era has created a fast-evolving environment that while on the one hand has democratized access to information and increased exchanges across borders, on the other it has impacted on the right to privacy and in many circumstances put media workers and their sources at greater risk of being targeted, harassed and attacked – for instance, due to data retention, spyware and digital surveillance.
“Amid growing threats to our common security and a global pandemic, we depend more than ever on independent, fact-based and reliable journalism as a compass to navigate the ocean of information, misinformation, disinformation, fake news and propaganda. Worldwide, this day serves as a reminder to governments and leaders of the need to respect press freedom. It is also an opportunity for media professionals to reflect on professional ethics”, commented Ambassador Del Monaco.
On this World Press Freedom Day, the OSCE Presence in Albania and the United Nations in Albania wish to honour the essential work of media professionals and journalists. We remain committed to the cause of media freedom in the country as indispensable for building strong, resilient institutions and societies.
In the context of Albania, we would like to reiterate the importance of the following messages:
- Protect media professionals and journalists from violence, intimidation and harassment, both online and offline, and give them access to public events, including during election campaigns;
- Ensure proper working contracts for media professionals and journalists, better access to information, freedom of expression, and increased professionalism;
- Strengthen efforts to guarantee media pluralism, de-concentration of media ownership, and encourage media self-regulation as a superior alternative to government regulation.