The National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT or KKRT) was founded in 1999, pursuant to Law n. 8410, the Law on Public and Private Radio and Television in the Republic of Albania and its composition and functioning have been changed by the new law on Audiovisual media, adopted in March 2013.
The Council is a public independent regulatory authority and its seven members are directly elected by the Assembly for a maximum of two five-year terms. They are experienced professionals in the fields of civil society, with judicial, economic, teaching and media experience. The Council’s main task is to govern and monitor the radio-television activity on the Albanian territory. It also has the task of implementing the Constitution and specifically Article 22, guaranteeing freedom of expression.
The Council also monitors the implementation of laws related to the media and supervises the informative programmes broadcast by national radio and television operators. The Council is the main authority in charge of providing broadcasting licenses to private subjects; licenses can be for service providers, network operators, and content providers. Licensing criteria include the prohibition of programmes that incite violence, religious hatred or anti-constitutional acts.
The National Council of Radio and Television also has an internal advisory body: the Complaint Council for Radio-Television. As article 18 of the Law n.8410 states, the Council’s objective is to “sensitize the public to make public and private radio-television entities implement moral and ethical norms in a responsible way in their programs”. Particularly, the Council supervises programs displaying abuse of violence, sex, dignity. Its decisions, though, are not legally binding.
The Council also writes the regulations that define the attribution of licenses and has the power of suggesting amendments for the media legislation. Furthermore, the Council decides on which sanctions to impose on those who violate the provisions of the law related to broadcasting.
It is financed from different sources, including the state budget and annual license fee payments.
Established by the Law on Electronic Communications as the regulatory body, the Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications (AKEP) supervises the regulatory framework defined by the law on electronic communications, by the Law on postal service and the development policies, defined by the Council of Ministers.
Albania has a state ombudsman, also called the People’s Advocate whose role is to facilitate the application of the right to information. The People’s Advocate is also present in the Constitution (Article 60-63) which regulates its functioning. According to the law, the People’s Advocate Institution is composed of three specialized Sections each headed by a Commissioner. As its website reports, the People’s Advocate safeguards the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of individuals from unlawful or improper actions or failures to act of public administration bodies or third parties acting on their behalf.
Any individual may address complaints to the People’s Advocate through various channels.
Albania does not have a Press Council. Self-regulation “has not yet been embraced by the major stakeholders and key market drivers in Albania”, according to UNESCO’s 2011 publication on Professional Journalism and Self-Regulation in South East Europe and Turkey (pdf here).Back to top