Participants at the EU Western Balkans Media Days in Tirana last week agreed on the critical role PSM plays for democracy in the region.
Speakers including the DG of RTSH (Albania) Thoma Gellci and Montenegrin investigative journalist Mirko Boskovic shared their experience and discussed the role and importance of PSM in the Balkans.
Gellci explained the political difficulties encountered by RTSH as demonstrated by the nearly two year delay in electing him as DG following the adoption of new legislation. Gellci is determined to transform PSM in Albania into a democratic and trusted source of news and information, as currently he is facing an image problem that discourages the most talented people from applying to work at the broadcaster. He has introduced new editorial guidelines, a statue and set out a new strategy for the next five years. The reporting on the recent parliamentary elections in Albania has been widely recognised as the most accurate and balanced in the media market.
Despite political divisions in the country, Gellci is now keen to change the internal structure of RTSH and continue with the process of transformation, and he thanked the EBU and OSCE for their support and cooperation.
The Montenegrin journalist Mirko Boskovic, who leads the only PSM investigative editorial unit in the Balkans, also talked about the importance of providing investigative content as a genuine remit of every PSM and the importance of gaining the trust of the audience.
Despite some critical voices and uncertainty about the ability of PSM in the Balkans to transform themselves into genuine services to citizens, participants at the conference agreed about the important role which PSM plays for the democratization of the societies in the Balkans and included this important point in the recommendations handed out to EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.
The EU Western Balkans Media Days are organised every two years. The main goal is to bring media professionals from all over the region together to discuss developments, challenges and trends in the Western Balkans media.