The Regional Media Conference 2021 was an experience to network with press freedom defenders from 6 Western Balkan countries! During 2 days, viewers participated in interactive debates about the most pressing issues facing the media in these unprecedented times. They also enjoyed documentaries on press freedom. This event touched on a number of important media aspects, such as self-regulation, ethics, and independence. Organized in different tailor-made sessions, the aim was to help for a better understanding, raising awareness, and seeking efficient ways to develop and strengthen media self-regulation, how to minimalize breach of ethics and how to preserve and strengthen media independence and survive from internal or external pressures and influences. Also, a special session of this conference was dedicated to the standards elaborated in the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court, related to the freedom of media.
More than 150 participants from 6 countries were registered to actively digitally attend the virtual conference, which was broadcasted live from the Albanian Helsinki Committee, while hundreds more followed it live streaming on social media. Experts from six Western Balkan countries, respectively from Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, and Kosovo as well as from the Netherlands, Italy, and the European Court of Human Rights contributed to this event. In compliance with the protocols and guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Conference was organized with a limited physical presence of the participants and through the online platforms, in a hybrid way by altering both formats. Tirana was the hosting city of the conference.
Session 1- Plenary session – Opening Remarks
Session 2 – Ethics in digital era: Freedom of expression vs the right of privacy freedom of the media (Ref. Article 8 and 10 of European Convention on Human Rights)
Session 3 – Self-regulation vs regulation
Session 4 – Covid impact on media freedom. Role of journalists in covering global pandemic
Session 5 – Labour conditions of journalists
Session 6 – Plenary session – Concluding Remarks from rapporters