Roughly 66.4% of Albania’s population of 2.8 million souls has access to the internet. However, online outlets often referred to as news portals, have become an increased nuisance in the media market according to Albania’s Union of Journalists. According to a survey conducted by the Tirana based Institute for Development, Research and Alternatives, IDRA, online media is one of three main sources of information for 44% of the population – coming second only to television stations and leaving behind the press and radio stations. A particular impact on the increased readership of online media in the last few years has come from the spread of smart phones and cheaper mobile data packages introduced by telecommunication companies. According to data provided by IDRA Media, the internet media advertising market was worth €3.08 million from January to November 2017.
The number of online media outlets has seen an explosion in the last few years, with hundreds of news portals and news aggregators having opened. According to the head of Albania’s Union of Journalists, a Tirana based NGO, in 2017 there are more than 650 news portals registered, of which only 72 of them are ran by journalists.Due to the overcrowded, small market, most of the online media, with few exceptions, lack financial resources and in its vast majority republish stories from mainstream commercial news outlets. Plagiarism or the so-called ‘copy-paste’ news, sensationalism from click-bait titles and a lack of professional standards are some of the problems often associated with the online media.
MOM investigated ownership structures of 11 online media outlets presented below, according to its methodology that prescribes a selection of at least 10 outlets with the highest audience reach. This however in Albania was not possible to assess, due to lack of reliable audience measurements for online media. The MOM team therefore relied on a set of the following criteria in their selection: continuity, availability of editorial staff and original content, and frequency of publication. Most of these outlets are online editions of existing traditional media, either print or Television.
Measuring the Information Society 2017. Volume 2, ICT Country Profiles. (2017)
Accessed on 06.02.2018
Pandëshkueshmëria, Opinioni public mbikuptimin, arsyet dhe rolin e institucioneve (Impunity; Opinion of public understanding, reasoning and the role of the institutions), IDRA Institute (2017) Accessed on 16.01.2018
650 news portal in Albania: Cipa: Some of them are directed by journalists, Ora News, (2017) Accessed on 16.01.2018