State Department Report on Media and SYRI

State Department Report on Media and SYRI

18:08, 23/04/2024
A+ Aa A-

The State Department's latest report on the media situation in Albania stands out amidst a sea of highly critical international assessments. While the overall index of media freedom has seen a significant decline, the report surprisingly includes Syri Net. However, it does so not as one of the few bastions of freedom remaining in Albania, but rather, much to everyone's surprise, it portrays Syri Net not as a persecuted media outlet, but rather as a "persecuting" one.

The report highlights: "According to reports, senior managers of the private media outlet Syri.Net monitored the communications of journalists and editors... to ensure they aligned with the owners' preferences."

While we are proud to represent perhaps the only opposition media not influenced by the government and its interests, we want to emphasize that Syri has never censored (let alone monitored) opinions different from its editorial line. This includes opinions from public figures, analysts, and especially brave and professional journalists who, despite pressures, have made this media outlet the only monument opposing the most corrupt government in Europe.

However, taking the report seriously for a moment, we cannot ignore the fact that the source cited, based on the phrase "according to the reports," is not credible at all; quite the opposite.

A serious and professional report would undoubtedly consult at least two sources. It would also have to inquire at the editorial office of Syri Net. There, it would discover that no employee has been dismissed from the editorial office throughout all these years of Syri Net's existence due to reasons related to the editorial line.

To be specific, throughout the entire history of this media outlet, only one employee has been terminated. The decision to dismiss that employee, in accordance with the law and the employment contract, was unrelated to the editorial line.

The authors of the report not only neglected to seek the truth but relied on "according to reports", intentionally and far from reality, precisely from those media outlets serving the government that Syri has exposed as beneficiaries of regular payments from incinerator projects, occupiers of public spaces through government tender favors, and even prosecuted by the justice system as entrepreneurs.

This report is not only unprofessional and based on fictitious "reports" from slanderous media blindly serving this regime, which devours the money of Albanian taxpayers, but it is also entirely unjust to portray the media outlet, almost the sole opposition and most respected by the readers under this regime, as the persecutor.

If the report aimed to accurately depict the state of the media in Albania without relying on slanderous sources like "according to reports", it would have conducted thorough research and consulted open (public) sources. It would have discovered the unprovoked attacks and arbitrary fines ordered by Edi Rama, through the Directorate of Taxation.

All they would need to do is watch a press conference of the Prime Minister, where Journalist Ambrozia Meta is banned from attending Edi Rama's conferences for a month by Rama himself. Or witness another incident where the same Syri journalist is physically attacked by the Prime Minister because he dislikes her questions.

Similarly, they could observe a lawsuit by the Mayor of Tirana, Erjon Veliaj, against Syri, simply because journalist Bledian Koka asked a witness, "Do you know Erjon Veliaj?"

It would suffice to observe every election cycle on the screen, where Syri journalists are physically prevented from reporting by powerful groups. It's enough to tally the unresponded envelopes sent to the government and departments for information over the years. Or, finally, it would be enough to read statements from some of the world's most prestigious organizations for the protection of journalists to understand where the hostility towards free media resides and how it has continuously dragged down the index of media freedom in the country.

Nevertheless, we have no intention of seeking sympathy; instead, we will persist in telling the truth until the end, especially to those who read and watch us, whose numbers multiply every day. We are a unique newsroom, with co-founders who are not beholden to money from incinerator projects, oligarchs, or organized crime. Above all, we are not dependent on concessions, public assets, or taxes stolen from Albanians, which Edi Rama and Erion Veliaj use to purchase and control the loyalty of the media outlets cited in this report.

Hence, there is no doubt that those working for Syri.Net and Syri Television are the most threatened and poorly compensated editors, journalists, and operators, yet they are absolutely the most dedicated in this country.

We take pride in our accomplishments thus far, starting from exposing the corrupt scandal of the Tirana incinerator, to revealing public electronic and telephone communications implicating Mayor of Tirana Erjon Veliaj, the corrupt dealings of the "5D" company, the corrupt affair of Eco Park Durrës involving the Prime Minister Rama's family members, the case of Carlo Bolino benefiting from state assets with the Prime Minister's signature, and many more.

Through our denunciations about the buying and selling of votes, today we have the mayor of Rrogozhina, Edison Memolla, on trial. We have denounced the Teceve affair of Vlora... In fact, this is our daily work and we will continue to do this every day, with dedication and sacrifice to show millions of loyal readers the galloping corruption of the government.

Therefore, we hope that the untruths of this report do not serve as a green light for the most corrupt government in Europe to increase pressure, to eclipse these very denunciations and perhaps to close the only opposition media in Albania, as it has done in fact and with many other media which this report seems to have forgotten.



Lexo edhe:


Shto koment