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OSCE Urges Media Independence In Albania

8 July 2004 -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) yesterday urged Albanian news organizations to report more independently of their owners' interests, saying biased reporting had compromised the media's credibility.

Osmo Lipponen, the chief of the OSCE's mission in the country, told a group of Albanian publishers and editors that Albanians had become "very skeptical toward the truth as presented by the media."

Albania, a country of 3.1 million, has 126 radio and television stations, as well as 22 dailies that have seen their circulation drop in recent years.

Lipponen attributed the drop in readership to a feeling that papers lack credibility. He said "media workers need to bring more professionalism, independence and accountability into their work."