Research “Independence and Credibility of Media in Kosovo” presented in Pristina

media freedom

Citizens want independent and professional media, shows the survey of audience preferences in Kosovo.  

Within their research efforts regarding media in Kosovo and on the occasion of marking the World Press Freedom Day, College of Business and Technology (UBT) and Kosovo Media Institute (IMK), a SEENPM member organization, presented the research “Independence and Credibility of the Media”. It represents the second phase of a more comprehensive research that will continue in the following months, the first phase of which was conducted last year.

Fazli Veliu, President of the Board of the Kosovo Media Institute (IMK), presented the report’s findings, saying that the research represents the current situation of the media in Kosovo, with all its specificities, drawn from the survey of 1000 people, of all ages and professional qualifications and in all regions of Kosovo (51.5% urban areas, 48.5% rural areas; 52% male and 48% female).

The survey results show that 72.6% of people read or watch/listen to information from the media, while the rest (22.9%) stated that they have no interest in the media.

According to the responses, citizens get informed mostly from the television (74.4%) and from the internet (56%), while only 14.6% get information from newspapers, 10.1% from radio and 1% from other sources.

The most followed programs are news, local and international (31%). Sports are followed by 20.4% of respondents. Music is the most popular with 19% of the surveyed. Cultural programs are the favorite of 16% of respondents. Political programs are the least popular as they are followed by only 11%. A large number of respondents opted for ‘other’ programs (31%).

Asked how much they trust the Kosovo media (TV and radio), only 6.3% respondents stated that they trust the media very much; 59.5% stated average trust; 25.5% little trust, while 8.7% do not trust media at all. As for the trust in online media (social networks and web portals), only 4% of respondents trust these sources very much; 48% stated average trust, 33.3% little trust and 14.7%  do not trust them at all.

Asked if they believe that there are independent/free media in Kosovo, 23.1% answered positively, 44.5% stated average belief, 18.8% do not believe this statement, while 13.7% did not provide an answer.

Social networks are assessed by the largest number of respondents as having a high degree of independence/freedom (32.7%), followed by television (31.5%), online web portals (22.2%), and radio (11.9%).

When asked what the media should do in order to increase the credibility in the eyes of Kosovo citizens, the respondents think that the media should be more professional in providing news (55.8%); that the media need full independence/freedom from various subjects (50.6%); that it needs to have a more comprehensive approach – providing programs for various age groups (34.3%), and that it needs to offer more of cultural and educational programs (34.2%).

After presenting the report, a broad debate took place on the findings of the report, but also on the various aspects of media development – technological developments and radical changes that the media is increasingly undergoing on daily basis.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually across the world on 3rd May. According to the United Nations, the Day is an occasion to highlight the fundamental principles of press freedom, as well as to evaluate press freedom throughout the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to honor journalists who have lost their lives while performing their duty.