Radio Televizioni Shqiptar

Radio Televizioni Shqiptar

Infobox Network
network_name = Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH)
country = flagicon|Albania Albania
network_type = Public TV and Radio
available = National (in analogue and digital);
International (on satellite via Eutelsat W2 and internet via IPTV)
owner =
key_people = Petrit Beci (General director)
Mirela Oktrova (Director of TVSH)
Zamira Koleci (Director of Radio Tirana)
launch_date = November 28, 1938 (radio)
April 29, 1960 (television)
founder =
slogan = Radio Televizioni Publik Shqiptar
motto =
past_names = Radiodifuzioni Shqiptar
website =

Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH) translated in English as "Albanian Radio and Television (ART)" is the public broadcaster in Albania, founded in 1938 and operated from Tirana.

RTSH runs a national television station "Televizioni Shqiptar" (TVSH), and two national radio stations, using the name "Radio Tirana". An international service broadcasts radio programmes in Albanian and seven other languages via medium wave (AM) and short wave (SW). [ [ Radio Tirana's Broadcasting Schedule as of 2007 -] ] The international service has used the theme from the song "Keputa një gjethe dafine" as its signature tune.

Since 1993, RTSH has also run an international television service via satellite, aimed at Albanian language communities in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and northern Greece, plus the Albanian diaspora in the rest of Europe. Since 1999, RTSH has been a member of the European Broadcasting Union.

RTSH is funded by a combination of commercial advertising, a licence fee of US$0.50 [ [ About RTSH -] ] a year and grant-in-aid from the Albanian government.


The beginning of RTSH dates to the foundation of Radio Tirana. On 28 November 1938, the first Albanian radio station was inaugurated in a location inside the former building of the Municipality of Tirana, where King Zog I and Queen Geraldine were among those taking part. On the same day, a shortwave transmitter with a power of 3 kW at 40 meters was put into operation in Tirana (Laprake) and intended mainly for communication, but it was also used to transmit 3 hours of broadcast programs per day. The first broadcast consisted of choral singing where Jorgji Truja and Marije Kraja sang an introductory piece, followed by the unique timber of Kaliopi Nushi's voice who pronounced the following phrase: "Mirëdita, kjo është Radio Tirana" (English: Good day, this is Radio Tirana). This officially marked the first transmission of Radio Tirana and the start of RTSH's journey.

On the technical aspect, the quality of broadcasting improved as years passed. In 1940, a 1 kW mediumwave transmitter and some studio equipments were installed on the old building of Radio Tirana. After the Second World War, noticeable improvements were observed in Albania's coverage with signal. For example, in March 1952, a 10kW mediumwave transmitter was inaugurated in Kashar (Tirana). Improvements were also noted in the external service, as the radio center of Shijak (Durrës) was opened in November 1961, equipped with 3 transmitters, 2 in shortwave intended for the external service.

In December 1965, a new building of Radio Tirana was inaugurated equipped with 8 transmitting studios, 5 recording and montage studios, and a central large music studio. During the upcoming years, a combined total of 18 medium and short wave transmitters were installed, part of which carried Radio Tirana's external service programmes for many years. In 1987, 66 hours of programmes were broadcast in 20 foreign languages every day. [ [ History of Radio Tirana's Transmitters - DX LISTENING DIGEST 6-150 October 8, 2006] ]

The rise of Albanian Television

In 1959, Radio Tirana's director by that time, Petro Kito, founded the first “Experimental Television Center”. The institute was meant to provide the basis for the latter Albanian television. The first test programme was held on 29 April 1960, at 6:00 pm and was introduced by the journalist Stoli Beli. Children movies and then adults’ programmes were broadcast on television, three times a week for about one hour. [cite web| url =| title = Faqe nga historia e Televizionit Shqiptar | accessdate = 2008-06-26 | date = 2005-06-03| publisher = "Koha Jone"] Television programs were regurarly launched by 1971. [Citation | last =Wells | first =Alan | publication-date =1996 | title =World Broadcasting: a comparative view | publisher =Greenwood Publishing Group | page =107 | isbn =1567502458] Color broadcasts started in 1981, and became regular by 1982.

Radio Tirana as a symbol

Radio Tirana is seen by many as a symbol representing Albanian culture. The station served as the first "academy" of Albanian literal language. In its archive can be found interesting historical accounts such as a speech made by Fan Stilian Noli or the voice of Albanian arts' "ambassador", Aleksandër Moisiu. Through its educational, cultural, and informative programs, Radio Tirana has played a major role in the transmission of the Albanian people's cultural values. The station served as a venue on which emerging Albanian artists first showcased their talents later becoming icons of the Albanian arts. The voice of Tefta Tashko, Marije Kraja, Kristaq Koço, Merita Sokoli, Viktori Xhaxhka and many others were first heard in the studios of the national radio station. In addition, Albanian personalities such as actor Reshat Arbana, Myzafer Xhaxhiu, singer Vaçe Zela and Dr. Sulçebegu [cite web| url = | title = Na ishte njëherë Radio Tirana... | accessdate = 2008-06-26 | date = 2004-01-08| publisher = "Revista Spekter"] hosted the most popular programs.

RTSH in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania

Despite the country's tiny size and isolationist policies, Radio Tirana was a fairly major international broadcaster during the Cold War.

During Albania's alliance with China in the 1960s and 1970s, Radio Tirana had to walk a fine line between being anti-West whilst also being anti-Soviet. As such, Radio Tirana kept close to the official policy of the People's Republic of China, which was also both anti-West and anti-Soviet whilst still being socialist in tone. Following the break with China, programming still remained Marxist-Leninist in nature.

During the 1970s, the station broadcast to Europe on 1214 kHz, causing interference problems for the British BBC Radio One on the same frequency. During the 1980s and early 1990s the international service was broadcast on 1395 kHz (along with various short wave frequencies) and was received throughout Europe during the evening and through the night. Radio Tirana also upset many amateur radio operators in Europe by operating transmitters in the 7 MHz (40 metre) amateur band.

Political programming predominated during this period. Features included "Marxism-Leninism - an ever young and scientific doctrine" and "Socialism and the youth". The feature "Leafing through the Marxist-Leninist press" restricted itself to the journals of foreign communist parties allied to the Albanian Party of Labour.

However, during the last months of the socialist era, overtly political programming was drastically scaled down, and the long-established practice of playing "The Internationale" at the end of each broadcast was abandoned.

Foreign systems under censure

A similar ideological battle took place on the television spectrum. Particularly, the TV signal of RAI and RTCG were at the centre of a political battlefield taking place on TV frequencies. During the 60s, RAI used to be received in Tirana in decent quality. As time passed, the signal was strengthened by RTSH only to broadcast the day's main news bulletin, some films, and children programmes. It is observed that during the news, reports containing music concerts and papal activities, or even regular commercial spots used to be jammed upon. A similar phenomenon used to be noticed on RTCG as its frequency used to be regularly interferred to by RTSH's jamming transmitters. A popular opinion of the time suggests that in contrast, the house of Albania's Party of Labour leader Enver Hoxha and others close to him were equipped with a so-called "special cable" - a way in which to see foreign broadcasting systems.

After the fall of the communist system, Albania's TV frequencies started to be filled by a variety of Western broadcasters: from RAI to CNN International. In 2002, the practice was discontinued as Parliament passed a law outlining protective measures for the Albanian broadcasting industry in promoting a fair and healthy competitive domestic market.

Post Communism

RTSH has enjoyed a robust position in the broadcasting field from the beginning of its operation to the mid 1990s, a period when the first privately owned radio and TV stations started to occupy the vast empty frequencies. This caused a gradual brain-drain where numerous experienced journalists and employees left RTSH for the new media outlets. For illustration purposes, Albania's current popular political talk shows such as "Opinion by Blendi Fevziu" (formerly called "E Diela Debat") or "Fokus by Robert Papa" can track their beginnings at RTSH. Despite this brain-drain, the institution has held a leader's position in the production of programs in fields pertaining to entertainment, civics, education and science.

One of the programs who has left a lasting impression in the post-communist TV entertainment field was that of talented show-man Adi Krasta, entitled "Rreth Fatit për 12-Javë". The show was embedded in a national lottery, something unseen before in Albania, ran on primetime state TV for about 5 hours non-stop, and offered tunes of famous American song ballads, such as "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, and famous hit song "Auberge" by British Blues icon Chris Rea. In addition, American actor of Albanian descent James Belushi offered his salutations to the Albanian people from the USA in an exclusive interview.

Another brilliant production is the "End-Year Festive Concert", a yearly TV program styled as a celebration of the new year, where a variety of humorous sketches are conducted by talented comedy troops from across Albania.

In the civic field, a vast number of documentaries are produced on different national heritage topics, including past and present cultural personalities who gave and continue to give contributions to the enrichment of the Albanian arts - an example being those for the Albanian National Theatre.

In 1997, in Albania, educational institutions were temporarily shut down due to civil unrest. As a result, RTSH broadcast instructional programs for the barricated youth, that made for a substitute to regular instruction. RTSH is known also for the vast number of shows for children and adolescents produced each year. Figures such as Pavlina Mani and other anchors are some of the personalities fixed in the minds of many youngsters.

The journalistic field was and is partly represented by experienced iconic figures such as news anchors Tefta Radi, Roland Roshi, Arben Kamberi, Reiz Çiço and many others, but also by the numerous employees behind the stage. In 1998, journalists of RTK were obliged to flee Pristina as the situation in Kosovo was escalating. They took temporal refuge in RTSH by anchoring specific news bulletins on their region's situation.

RTSH holds the home games copyright of Albania's national football team, the Eurovision Song Contest, the Olympics etc.

The institution has produced the most high-rated Albanian television series, "Njerëz dhe Fate" and the radio series "Rruga me Pisha".

Allegations by critics have remained through out the long story of RTSH. According to these, the institution leans towards the government's agenda and conclude that it unsuccessfully tries to reinvent itself as an independent public broadcaster.



* Televizioni Shqiptar (TVSH) is the name of Albania's public television channel, part of RTSH The domestic TV program is carried on a digital platform, besides being distributed analogically throughout the country.
* TVSH Sat - Programi Satelitor, is the international version of the domestic program, broadcast to Europe free to air via satellite.

Nationally created shows currently broadcast by Televizioni Shqiptar (as of May 2008)

Internationally created shows currently broadcast by Televizioni Shqiptar (as of May 2008)


*Radio Tirana 1 is the name of Albania's first public radio program.
*Radio Tirana 2 is the second public radio program focused mainly on the youth.
*Radio Tirana 3 is the name of the third program broadcasting on shortwave the international service.
*Radio Gjirokastra is the local version of RT in Gjirokastër, Albania
*Radio Korça is the local version of RT in Korçë, Albania
*Radio Kukësi is the local version of RT in Kukës, Albania
*Radio Shkodra is the local version of RT in Shkodër, Albania

Technical change

After the arrival of the new millennium, RTSH underwent some significant changes in terms of its technology. In 2003, an attractive news studio was created, and the TV (TVSH) signal on VHF band in Tirana was strengthened. TVSH became available also on UHF and experimental broadcasts of the second TV channel TVSH 2 were initiated.Later, screen graphics of the TV channel were revamped reflecting the red color, that of the national flag but also of the time's ruling party. The same can be said for 2006, as red was substituted for blue, although it is not one of the national colors.

In 2003, the FM channel in the capital at 99,5 MHz was put on Stereo, and the second radio program was launched 24 hours a day.

In 2007, RTSH launched its official webpage with daily news briefs and a variety of information on its services. Despite these improvements, allegations of bias in news reporting and other structural problems still remain.

pecial programmes

* RTSH is known for the production of the annual national song competition, "Festivali i Këngës". The winner of the competition goes on to represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest.
* "Miss Albania" and "Miss Europe" were some of the fashion competitions organized by RTSH in the 90s.
* RTSH also covers daily and special proceedings of the Parliament of Albania.

ee also

*Festivali I Këngës Në RTSH
*Communications in Albania


External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ RTSH in English]
* [ Radio Station World]

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