mercoledì 23 novembre 2011

A VISIT TO RADIO TIRANA by Stig Hartvig Nielsen {and some comments by Mrs. Drita Cico}

Radio Tirana is not difficult to find. It is a large building situated on Rruga Ismail Qemali, a side street off the main street. Before coming to the Radio House I had made an appointment with Klara Ruci from the English department. We met in the radio station's vestibule and she started by giving me a sightseeing tour of the Radio House, characterised by a mix of both old and new.
Radio Tirana Then and Now.
Klara Ruci has worked for Radio Tirana for 14 years since 1997. She has colleagues who also worked at the station when the Communist Party ruled the country.
In the Foreign Service department, there are two employees who also worked at Radio Tirana before 1990. At that time there were very strict rules. It wasn't allowed to change "as much as an inch of anything". No deviation was allowed , and there was a thorough control of everything - including the translations which had to be very precise.
One of the employees who was also on Radio Tirana back then was Svetlana.
She has previously worked in the English department, and she moved on to host the Swedish-language broadcasts. As these were shut down, she was moved to the German department, and is till one of the two employees here.
Besides Albanian, the external service broadcasts in English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish. Each language has two employees and must make a half-hour broadcast daily (rather Monday-Saturday- by Drita); Greek and Serbo-Croatian ('neighbours' - added by Drita) have only one employee and they make only a fifteen-minute broadcast every day. (!!- added by Drita)
Most of the content is translated from Albanian, but the staff who are all Albanians also do something themselves, says Klara Ruci. Among other things they prepare a weekly mailbox programme, in which response to listeners' mail is given.
Radio Tirana receives 10-15 reception reports per week, slightly fewer during summer. Many listeners write that they are pleased with the broadcasts. They feel that Radio Tirana is the only voice to give another view of Albania. A view that is different from the widely negative picture of Albania that is given in international media.
Klara Ruci concedes that the radio in a way is the mouthpiece of the Albanian government. It's a state radio - funded by the government but the opposition gets the same amount of time as the government, she stresses.
Radio Tirana does not cover traffic accidents and other police stories.
The focus is mainly on cultural, political and social issues and in the programmes of the external service things of interest to tourists are also included.
The home service consists of two channels: the first contains mostly talk programmes, news, economy, culture and features. The second channel is more entertaining and is directed more toward a younger audience.
The Foreign Service is called the third channel. The programmes in Albanian for listeners abroad are particularly important as there are very many Albanians living outside Albania.
Radio Tirana has the advantage over the commercial stations in the country and that is that it covers the entire country.
Foreign service's future uncertain.
Some three or four years ago (Not correct time - Drita) the then director of Radio Tirana considered closing down the entire foreign service. But only Portuguese and Spanish were closed. After my visit to Albania in July 2011 the foreign service from Tirana went silent on short and medium wave for a couple of months. The programmes could only be heard online via the German 'Radio 700'. From early October 2011, the FS (Foreign Service) returned to the air. According to Klara Ruci, funds for the FS will be reduced and cuts in services are to be expected {has been already done on B-11 schedule, wb.}. (Nov BrDXC-UK Communication magazine, retyped by gh for dxld)