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OP-ED/To die like a good patriot!

OP-ED/To die like a good patriot!
By Alfred Peza“Positive news, curiosities, news from the lives of renowned people, fashion, social-economic news, cultural, artistic and sport news, human stories, success stories, reportages, etc, are considered, according to serious studies, as professional genres that target large audiences in countries with a developed tradition in the media

We must encourage the expansion of the auto mobile market here in Albania, “because it has been proven that if people of this country have a car in front of their house, they will no longer think of politics and they will die as good patriots”. With these words, the US State Department wrote to the US Embassy in Tirana in the 1930’s and the scope was to encourage social-economic activities. Nine decades have gone by and the American desire has now become a reality, because the number of private cars in Albania has exceeded any optimistic prediction of that period. Today, at least half of Albanian households own a car. But, we all know that we still continue to think about politics, perhaps more than in the past. And this doesn’t mean that today we will not die as good patriots. But what has happened and why does this social behavior in Albania exceed the expectations of the experts of the US State Department, given the large number of political conversations which are consumed today in formal and informal premises? Media or cafes. Homes, public sector or private sector offices. On the street or in the stadium. In the village or in the city. By employed or jobless people. Poor or rich. Travelling on foot, on bike, on boat, bus, car, airplane or ferry.

Today, politics has turned into a favorite national sport for Albanians. This is the reason why media, traditional or online media, offer more room to politics than all other news taken together, because besides being a public service, media is also a business which prepares an informing, entertaining and educating “food” for those who consume it. In this case, for Albanian citizens, readers and viewers. Therefore, the opposition’s protest in the boulevard, the relations of the SP and SMI in the governing coalition, the meetings and declarations of the international community that relate to Albania’s integration in the EU or the relations of the international community with us, are at the focus of almost all the media, national regional, local, big, average or small ones.

But there is a category of media, traditional (mainly TV) or online media that do not care about news and politics and if we see the audience or the ranking that they have on the internet, we may notice that they are as much followed, not to say more followed than media which deal with news, interviews, comments, debates and anything else that relates to politics. And within these media, there are programs which are not at all political and their audience is high. This clearly indicates that it is not true that Albanians always aim for political topics or that politics is a favorite sport for everyone. On the contrary. Positive news, curiosities, news from the lives of renowned people, fashion, social-economic news, cultural, artistic and sport news, human stories, success stories, reportages, etc, are considered, according to serious studies, as professional genres that target large audiences in countries with a developed tradition in the media.

This has also made many world media focus on landscapes and tourist destinations of our country, on natural beauties, on our architectural cities with a historic heritage, on the coast, on the beaches, food, good people, traditions, cultural heritage, archeological and natural monuments, etc, when they refer to our country. Some media have also echoed the success of Albanian young people in art, culture, football, other sports and humanism. After 1990, there was a period when we could find no positive news stories on Albania and Albanians in the media of the neighboring countries or international media in general. Meanwhile, our media dedicated many articles, analyses, opinions and comments which reflected a real concern: why did the world see us so negatively? While now, that the world sees us positively, it seems that local media compensate the negative nature of things, in terms of the daily news stories. It is not a matter of making propaganda in favor of this and that government, this or that majority. It is something bigger than this; besides politics, people surely want to read articles or news stories on the new national and rural infrastructure, when this infrastructure meets standards and offers a new momentum to the country.

When important centers of our cultural heritage are revitalized, when 70 towns and cities of Albania are transformed within a few years and when there are developments that bring a new social and economic impact thanks to the investments in the infrastructure of cities or villages. When there are positive developments thanks to enterprise, hospitality and tourism sector, in industry, services, investments, in the opening of new jobs, in the creation of new residential or entertainment oases. Thanks to the investments in new technologies and the magic of social networks, we have seen more photographic albums on the natural beauties and urban and rural scenery of Albania.

Videos, minivideos, extraordinary images filmed with drones, etc, which offer a very special aesthetic feeling, encouraging politics, those who are elected in central and local government, stakeholders, domestic and foreign businesses, social groups, families and individuals, to create another positive example of entrepreneurship, other success stories, other models to promote, other islands, oases and peninsulas of beauty, development and prosperity, thus encouraging expansion, cooperation or connection between these islands of development, to spread them in the form of concentric circles, in all cities and villages of Albania, in all social groups and in the entire territory, to make this country like everyone dreams it, in order for people of this country to live like European citizens and die like good patriots.

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