- by Gersi Mirashi
- January 18, 2023
Comparative Representations of Albania in Time and The Economist Magazines
by, Prof. Asoc. Dr. Belina Budini
Albania depicted as the most mysterious, isolated, forgotten Balkan country on the part of the international news media, is by no means an exception. It is common today as it was almost 100 years ago for western media outlets to find not so flattering exceptionalities in the Albanian land, in its politics and its people. When it comes to this “tiny, little country”, journalistic codes of American and British media give a rather coherent subject in international terms, despite their respective editorial lines. The Economist and Time magazines are compared and contrasted here in accordance with the media functional equivalence approach, despite their different political or editorial alignments, in order to understand their coverage of a rather distant international subject such as that of Albania in the context of the Balkans. The empirically measured media content on the subject of Albania is dispersed and sporadic through years, events and focus. However, the inconsistent coverage and stance given to the subject does translate into a rather constant view or representation through time. The research shows that this is almost a script 100 years old with few nuances, perpetuating therefore an abnormal image and reputation of Albania and the Balkans overall in international terms. The comparative media content analysis of Time magazine and The Economist show how the western media construction of the country as an “abnormal other” still prevails, despite an evolving historical context for Albania as well as other Balkan countries who are also reported in the same vein over time. To look at this more closely, the search and findings are first organized separately in terms of quantitative and qualitative data and then are compared and contrasted in terms of the extent, nature and frames of their coverage.