Good morning and thank you all for being here.
You have all had a year full of hard work and learning. My hope for you is that you’ve been able to learn and grow, to deepen your dedication to your important profession, and to publish your first investigative stories.
What you do is important work. It is important for you, for your fellow citizens, and for Albania as it matures and develops as a democracy.
Through the power of your pen or fingertips – you have the ability to make a change, to make a difference.
I am a great believer in the power of journalism, particularly investigative journalism. I know the challenges are many. I know it requires sacrifice. I also know good, ethical journalism is the backbone of democracy – and that is why the United States will always be by your side as you uphold the moral code and ethical principles of this noble profession.
You will walk out of here today, with your certificate in hand, holding great power and great responsibility. I encourage you all to put your newfound investigative journalism skills to work for the greater good. Use these tools to uncover wrongdoing, fraud, and corruption. When you find it, report it, fairly and accurately. Bring truth to the people so they can shape government decisions and check the power of politicians as more well-informed citizens. Help build democracy in Albania.
If you choose this noble path, to be a truth speaker, know that the U.S. Embassy supports you. We applaud your bravery and will continue to champion your extremely important work.