Good morning, everyone. Congratulations on your accomplishments in the Journalism Lab program.
President Biden said recently on World Press Freedom Day “The free press is not the enemy of the people. Quite the opposite, when driven by a quest to illuminate and educate, not inflame, or entertain, the free press is the guardian of truth.”
I hope that you have learned how to be better watchdogs, and I hope to see you out there in the field applying what you’ve learned – holding government authorities accountable, shedding light on information that some people try to hide, and providing transparency.
I encourage you to keep learning but also to educate others, including the officials you interview on two important things: that it is your duty to ask hard questions and that it is their duty to provide answers.
Asking questions is your professional duty and a public service. Responding to questions is the duty of officials, whether they like it or not. If officials don’t respond to your question, ask it again and again. Have your colleagues ask the same question until the officials, no matter who they are, respond.
I hope that you will continue to work hard in order to illuminate, educate, and be the guardians of truth that Albania’s democracy needs.