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Attacks on the Press 2001: Europe & Central Asia

The exhilarating prospect of broad press freedoms that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union a decade ago has faded dramatically in much of the post-communist world. A considerable decline in press freedom conditions in Russia during the last year, along with the stranglehold authoritarian leaders have imposed on media in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, has put journalists on the defensive across the region.


Attacks on the Press 2001: Albania

Independent journalists in Albania continue to struggle with economic underdevelopment, highly partisan politics, and security risks. Low professional standards and stalled government reforms of media laws further compounded journalists' problems in 2001.

High taxes and printing costs, poor distribution networks, low advertising revenues, limited business skills, and endemic corruption keep editors and publishers dependent on financial subsidies from political parties. Because most media owners are affiliated with one of two dominant political parties--either Prime Minister Ilir Meta's ruling Socialist Party (SP), or Sali Berisha's opposition Democratic Party (DP)--news coverage tends to be highly partisan.

March 26, 2002 12:11 PM ET
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