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A Tirana tabloid, Shqiptarja.com, has angered some members of the public by publishing gruesome details about the rape of young boy by a paedophile who was recently arrested.
|Albania newspapers on sale in Tirana | Photo by : Axel Kronholm|
A frontpage story about the rape of a young boy, published on Wednesday and allegedly based on confessions of the suspected molester, has provoked a storm of hostile comments in blogs and social networks.
Many readers have been unnerved by the publication of minute details of the case, fearing possible repercussions for the young victim.
They also have questioned whether such particulars legitimately serve the public’s interests, or rather serve the newspaper’s circulation goals.
In an interview for Respublica.com, Dom Gjergj Meta, a social commentator, described the article as so unsettling that it was hard to read. “I could not go beyond the first ten lines because it provokes such a sense of horror,” Meta said.
Following publication of the story, one journalist from the newspaper was reported to have resigned in protest, while its director, Anila Basha, has offered a half-hearted public apology.
In an editorial, Basha says that she "never thought the reaction to the story would be so big...I apologize for a publishing a truthful document, which public opinion might not like,” she wrote.
“I also apologize for not realizing that we still have not broken the taboo about publishing something that is true, no matter how sour and painful that might be,” Basha added.
Some commentators on social networks and blogs have accused Basha of trying to have it both ways.
“She at one point is apologizing and in the other is retracting the apology,” one commentator wrote in the collective blog, peshkupauje.com. “This is anything but an apology, it’s totally irresponsible,” another lamented.
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