The integration of national minorities into Albanian civil society is extremely slow, and the share of minority programs in the media is almost negligible. Therefore, Public Broadcaster of Albania Shqiptar (RTSH 2), as part of the new minorities’ platform, has legally regulated a new media space for broadcasting minority program. It was presented by the Committee for National Minorities of the Republic of Albania.
“Legal regulation of minority media is one of the most important components of the country’s relation to minorities. Respect for minority cultures, ideologies, religious orientation, and traditional values and customs also affects the relationship between the country and the home countries of each particular minority,” said journalist Olshi Sherifi, who edits the five-minute News about the Rroma community on Albanian Radio Television. The News is broadcast from Monday to Friday at 6:45 pm, providing information foundation for longer reports and documentary content being planned. Later in a conversation with this twenty-six-year-old journalist, who graduated journalism at the University of Tirana, we learn that RTSH 2 is planning to become a media channel through which minority communities will discuss and analyse current political and social events alongside presentation of their cultural and other features expressing their thoughts and attitudes.
Regarding Rroma national minority, Sherifi believes that it should be the focus of minority media programs due to the problems that the Rroma have in everyday life, and the media speak very little of them. “Many Rromani families live in shelters far away from the rest of society. They belong to a marginalized group that does not have basic provisions, let alone the educational streams of society. Individuals who graduated from schools and universities have been able to work in different jobs, such as nurses, journalists, public sector employees, and these positive examples should be spoken about in the media.“
Olshi Sherifi also believes that it is important to educate the Rroma in journalism which is a significant segment for the realization of Rromani minority program. Creativity in the selection and presentation of topics is important for creating one’s own audience and as a positive example he mentioned Arben Kosturi, the first journalist who started broadcasting the programme for the Rromani community in Albania, in the city of Korçë in 2011. The programme is still being broadcasted in Rromani language once a week.