"Your program is like an open window that allows us Albanians to breathe in some Western air and acts as a bridge between east and west," commented one listener in 1992, when Deutsche Welle's first Albanian feature show came out on shortwave radio.
Over the past two decades Deutsche Welle has played an important role in Albania, which was completely isolated from the outside world until 1992 and which has undergone a difficult transformation process. It was also an important source of information during the Kosovo War in 1999.
"Today, as both Albania and Kosovo work towards being integrated into the European Union, DW's multimedia program in Albanian functions as an objective and globally-oriented source of news in the region, giving the viewers, Internet users and listeners a European and German perspective that local media do not offer," said Vilma Filaj-Ballvora, head of the Albanian Service. "Despite increasing competition on the local market, Deutsche Welle remains a key information medium due to its credibility."
DW's Albanian Service produces television, online and radio content for the region. Since November 2011 it has been reaching viewers in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia with its TV magazine EUROPA SOT (Europe Today), broadcast weekly via three partner stations.
DW's Albanian news website offers important current affairs updates and receives over 300,000 clicks per month. It also gains additional readership through local print media: newspapers in both Albania and Kosovo quote content from the site nearly every day.
Completing the multimedia offering are radio news bulletins in Albanian, which are broadcast via partner stations in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.
Apart from TV magazines in Albanian, Deutsche Welle also produces television shows in Romanian, Croatian and Polish. It strives to be a key source of news in central and southeastern Europe and provides multimedia content in Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish.