Media in a cage

Media in a cage
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al

By Plator Nesturi

Is it a lack of professionalism in the media or irresponsibility in the role that it plays? This debate could have been held long ago, because cases of speculations and excess use of the relations that exist between the press, politics and public opinion, have been happening even in normal days. However, amid the endless topics that the public opinion is interested in, the fact that political figures occupy most of the media space, is too much and it’s a lack of respect about the media.

The political class has become the central focus of the media. The question is: why is the media allowing itself to be dictated by politics? Here, we’re not only referring to special stories, where the opinion of politicians is necessary, but also to day to day stories. There are many cases of bills which could undergo a preliminary media debate and there’s no need to wait the stance of the sides in parliament. In many cases, these issues are ignored by the media, as if they did not bear any interest for the public opinion and stake holders. The media does not offer a lot of air time to information about bills or the impact that the approval of specific bills has.

In normal conditions, the press would exert pressure for more transparency, not only on the majority in power, but also on the opposition which boycotts parliament. In no other country of the world laws are voted without debates. This means that the opposition needs to play the role of the “guardian”, who does not allow the majority to abuse with power.

We have seen many cases where the opposition boycotts parliamentary debates, while the only thing that the media does is to report the action of the opposition, without exerting pressure on behalf of the public opinion in order for this behavior to come to a halt. Allowing bills to be voted without debates and focusing on the declarations made by party leaders on social media, has lowered the bar for the media world. In fact, everything remains focused on this debate. Even the media is no longer part of the previous bargaining and it no longer has the power conferred on it by public opinion.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy

 

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