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Remzi Lani
Remzi Lani

Remzi Lani is the director of the Albanian Media Institute. ". He is one of the most prominent figures in the Balkan media community. He has worked as the Chief Editor of "Zeri i Rinise" (1983-1992) and as correspondent for the Spanish paper "El Mundo" as well as "Zeri". He has co-authored "My Albania Ground Zero" and "Masters of Humanist Philosophy.

In 1999 Lani described the difficult path out of communism and Albanians' continued uncertainty about their country's future:

"Albania is probably the ex-communist country that has changed most. In fact, any comparison with the brutal communist regime would sound ridiculous. Among all East European people, Albanians have least reasons to feel nostalgic about the epoch before the fall of the Berlin Wall … Nine years later the Albanian citizen can be compared to a passenger waiting at a bus station without knowing his destination. The tiny Balkan country cannot be considered as a Hope-Land. "Exit from communism" wasn't as rosy and festive as it seemed to be."

(Albania: nine years after Albania Media Centre 16 December 1999)

In 2004 Remzi analysed the paradoxical media landscape in Albania:

"The Albanian media has come a long way since the end of the Communist era, expanding the then-existing landscape of the party media to a swelling market of both print and electronic media. At present, the total number of media outlets in Albania are 255. This figure comprises 19 daily newspapers, 35 weekly newspapers, 5 bi-weekly newspapers, 24 monthly newspapers, 9 bimonthly newspapers, 11 'other' newspapers, 5 weekly magazines, 18 monthly magazines, 8 bimonthly magazines, 14 quarterly magazines and 10 'other' magazines. In addition to all these print publications, there are 46 licensed radio stations and 64 licensed television stations.

From the political point of view the press spectrum in Albania can be considered complete from the left to the right. However, few of these papers and broadcasters are strong and reach a significant audience. The largest selling daily, for instance, has an estimated circulation of less than 20,000 in a country of almost 3 million.

Although the number of dailies has grown from 2 in 1991 to 19 in 2003, the circulation of all 19 dailies together does not exceed that of the first opposition paper in 1991. …. less than half of the population can buy newspapers in their place of residence.

The subscription system, on the other hand, is extremely weak and rarely applied. For example, given that the average income of a teacher is around 10,000 lek (approximately € 75), a teacher should allocate 13 percent of his or her salary to buy a newspaper, which makes the paper rather expensive. … Another problem of Albanian print media concerns its location: the media outlets in Albania continue to preserve their nature of "capital-based" media. Not even one daily is published outside the capital …

Concerning media legislation it can be said that Albania is one of the countries with a generally advanced legislation in the media field, but its implementation continues to be problematic. But it is not a rare phenomenon in the Balkans that laws are written according to European standards and are applied according to Balkan standards."

May 2008

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