My 19 'golden' years at the Albanian Daily News (ADN) have been and continue to be a milestone of building a newspaper with hard work and satisfaction, providing accurate, professional and detailed information on the developments within Albania as well as covering with the same standards the events in the region and in the world. And incidentally I started work at this newspaper on August 15, 1997, a historical moment even for Albania when it was recovering after the bloody turmoil caused by the collapse of the pyramid schemes where hundreds of thousands of Albanians lost their life savings. At that time the former president, Sali Berisha stepped down and the general elections of June brought to power the Socialist Party.
Nineteen years in the life of a person are not much, but 19 years leading a newspaper, the only one printed in English in Albania, being professional and scrupulously covering the events, is a lot. I am proud of that! As the ambassadors of Poland, M. Jeziorski and of Greece, K. Piperigos told me in separate meetings just a few days ago before putting down these impressions, the ADN has served as a messenger on the events in the country, in the region and in the world for the foreign readers in Albania. Like many other diplomats before they appreciated the objectivity, constructive stance and unbiased approach, while they also evaluated the wide range of events covered by the staff of ADN.
ADN does not make any distinction with regard to the publishing of news and information and other reports like opinions, interview, impressions and features, which are needed by the readers and also has always been open to express the thoughts and ideas of any ambassadors regardless of the country they represent. Any insinuation to 'portray' the mission of ADN and especially of its Editor-in- Chief in another manner is ill-aimed and I personally will never allow tarnishing the reputation of the Albanian Daily News and mine. I am the friend of all the diplomatic staff and other respectful readers I exchange views with them in a candid way for making better the work and strengthen cooperation. Likewise, the spirit of any talks is to improve the relations of Albania with different countries and some diplomats have gone that far considering the staff of ADN as diplomatic missionaries of Albania.
Thanks to such a good cooperation ADN's chief editor and other staff members have been invited to working visits to the United Nations in New York, the EU and NATO Headquarters in Brussels, China, Poland, Kuwait, Turkey, Montenegro, Hungary, Northern Cyprus, Iran, etc.
ADN has served as a reliable and accurate source of information, setting standards in Albanian journalism and giving a very special contribution in developing the way of reporting based on the Western standards, presenting facts and reporting on events and developments in Albania, in the region and in the world, with the aim of providing information and opinions which give a clear picture of what is going on in the country. By doing that, ADN has fulfilled its DNA mission which is providing accurate and complete information, being unbiased and fair and presenting the situations in the most reliable way possible. Albanian Daily News continues to be in the hands of its readers, being totally improved in substance and printing as compared to its first edition. If I were not an 'old hand' of the current staff, I would have hardly recognized the Albanian Daily News of today as compared to the one launched in 1995. "The little gazette" as some of its friendly readers used to call it back on those days kept growing and changing with the passing of years to experience the most striking innovation in the summer of 2006, which developed to move to the current format. A brave undertaking by its owners, particularly by Mr. Marsel Skendo, who turned it into a personal challenge, shifted Albanian Daily News from 12 pages in black and white to a larger format like the one that is published nowadays with 16 pages four of which in color.
ADN: Acting in real time and having an elite audience
In search of being useful to the readers just at that time it moved from 5 editions per week to six appearing on Monday becoming as an herald of the start of every week for its readers. But several major changes regarding the content of the newspaper have been prompted with the aim of providing readers with new sections carrying the best news, information, reports, and commentaries on events like they happen in real time in Albania and abroad. And acting in real time and having an elite audience have been ADN's watch for being very careful and responsible regarding accurateness in publishing everything. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that media errors have not occurred, but in every case the appropriate corrections have been made with the relevant apologies for any inconveniences making the communication with the readers very constructive. As a matter of fact this special way of direct communication has taken Albanian Daily News closer to the readers who have increasingly found in it a media outlet to express themselves. So besides being a "reporter," Albanian Daily News is conscious that it serves as a point of reference on various issues. The more so because its sections include not only current events of the daily life, politics and diplomatic activities, but also news on economy, finance and banking, social affairs, cultural events. Albanian Daily News cannot fail to express the gratitude to its audience and friends, who express their esteem through the close cooperation with it.
Solid standards, useful information and being professional
It would have been a miss if it was not highlighted the fact that a great deal of credit for the success of ADN goes to the diplomatic corps in Tirana, which has established a close collaboration with it. They have found in ADN the place to express themselves on various issues and the numerous interviews carried by it are evidence of this. ADN has the honor to recall that senior authorities such as presidents, premiers, foreign ministers etc. of different countries selected Albanian Daily News to speak in interviews on their visits to Albania. They converge to one point, that Albanian Daily News is very useful to them, that the newspaper has solid standards, provides useful information, has a spine and, what is more important it is professional.
To put the past in their proper perspective, Albanian Daily News finds itself in the seventh 'millennium' of its editions like one of the oldest dailies in the Albanian printed media market being also the only daily in English in the country. Albanian Daily News should also feel proud of having been not only a working place for hundreds of editors, journalists, interpreters, layout specialists and other employees, who made their contribution, but also a training place where hard work and expertise made dozens of them become successful in other positions in Albanian government and non-government institutions, foreign embassies and international organizations in Tirana and abroad.
As a lot of its readers have put it Albanian Daily News has built the Albanian model of a newspaper in English with a special audience in Albania and abroad being instrumental to its readers under the motto of being very attentive to not just being fast and accurate but to being professionally correct, highlighting all which is important to all!
I cannot fail not to mention in closing these impressions with a saying of the former Head of the EU Delegation to Tirana, the Honorable Ambassador, Ettore Sequi who is now the top diplomat of Italy to People's Republic of China, according to which Albanian Daily News has been your 'baby' nourishing it with love, dedication and professionalism.
But, in my view, the greatest contributors, the real engine and power of AND are its staff which do not spare any efforts to upgrade and improve the standards of the newspaper, which I wish every success in the future.