TIRANA – Lack of in-depth media pieces on police corruption in Albania due to the business oriented editorial policy have negative impact on integrity of the State Police.
The Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) organized a workshop “Media and Police Corruption in Albania” at the Hotel Tirana International on 22 of December 2016. The workshop gathered journalists and media professionals with the purpose to advocate for media coverage of police corruption led by the interest to strengthen transparency and accountability of the police.
Police Corruption Identified Primarily With Bribery
The media portrays police corruption mainly based on specific cases, thus lacking the analytical perspective.
“In the media, police corruption is identified primarily with bribery, while other forms of corruption such as false evidence, lack of transparency in public procurement are the least covered”, said Senior Expert of the IDM Arian Dyrmishi.
News pieces on police corruption originate mainly from press statements, political declarations, and similar events, rather than the in-depth analysis carried out by journalists.
“Journalists generally lack areas of specialization while the editorial policies tend to hinder comprehensive reporting on police corruption. Nonetheless, diversification of media outlets in recent years has contributed positively to the growth of reporting corruption cases”, Dyrmishi underlines.
Due to the specificities of the police sector, a major attention should be dedicated to the various forms of police corruption in Albania.
“There is a need to overcome the institutional approach of focusing on individual cases to the organizational culture within the State Police”, concluded Dyrmishi.
Challenges in Reporting Police Corruption
The role of the media in regard to police corruption is constrained due to the business oriented editorial policies and there is still a vacuum of genuine investigative media, besides the investigative-satirical TV programs.
“Media tends to cover sensational news or events. Nevertheless, these cases remain just a random reporting and there is no further genuine journalistic investigation”, emphasized media analyst Lutfi Dervishi.
Dervishi noted the “aesthetic” improvement of the State Police.
“There have been changes within the legal framework of the State Police in recent years. Still, the corruption at management level within police remains high”, concluded Dervishi.