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Welcome Address by Ambassador Zingraf at the Online Konferenz „Online media and television monitoring report on hate speech and gender representation“


Pro-LGBT, © Pro-LGBT

20.10.2020 - Rede

Dear Sidita Zaja, dear other virtual participants, good morning.

I am going to speak in English and therefore please change the channel if you need Albanian interpretation …

I am very grateful that we have Ms. Erinda Ballanca (tbc) the Ombudswoman as well as Robert Gajda, the Commissioner for the Protection against Discrimination among us today. I see other colleagues and it is great that we manage to meet today despite the Covid-19 challenge.

We have gathered today to hear about the results of a media monitoring which the NGO Pro-LGBT has carried out during the last months with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With this support, we would like to give new dynamics to the debate about media ethics in Albania.

Without knowing the results yet, from what we are witnessing with our own eyes and ears every day, we see that there is room for improvement. Journalists and media owners have a special responsibility. The way they report about events or depict certain groups or minorities has an effect on how the general audience perceives these groups – research has shown evidence for this long-term impact.

Another aspect is surely the digital space where the debate tends to be more violent, more cruel. Hate speech is definitely a problem, not only in Albania but all over the world. Platform operators, media owners and journalists should be more sensitive to these issues and step up the efforts in order to establish an effective self-regulation. The recent developments in this field are a step forward and we can only encourage you to keep going in this direction.

On the other hand, initiatives for state regulation of media must always be in line with best international practices in order to ensure media freedom whilst, at the same time, protecting individual rights of victims of hate speech and defamation. Both, media freedom and individual dignity, are common goods that need to be protected.
I hope that today’s conference will be a platform for exchange on how media and civil society organisations can work together more to ensure respect of ethical norms in journalism. I am curios to hear about the result of the media monitoring.

I wish us an interesting debate and would like to thank you again for tuning in today.

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