Survey results in the framework of ‘TikTok Corruption Albania’, a running project by Albanian Center MediaLook with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Albanian Center MediaLook’s team have conducted a survey in November 2020 in five cities of the country and respectively in Tirana, Durrёs, Korça, Shkodra, Elbasan and Kukës.
The selection of these cities was based on the criterion to test in Tirana as the capital of the country, in Durrёs, as the main port city, and then in Shkodra and Kukës as urban centers of the North, in Elbasan in Central Albania and in Korça as an important urban center in the Southeast.
The total number of survey respondents is 152 young people ages varied between 17 and 25 years old, among them 72% are schoolchildren or students and 77 respondents are females and 75 respondents are males.
The methodology of the survey is random sampling based on quota. The number of questions in the designed questionnaire is 19.
The main results are:
1. With regard to the question what are the main sources of information for young people, the participants in the survey (who were required to select two answers from the defined list of choices) responded as follows: more than 2 in 3 stated that social networks are the primary sources of information for them. Meanwhile, 1 in 7 respondents said that they are not interested in the information from the life of the country at all. Less than 1 in 3 respondents said that conventional media is for them the primary source of information about the life of the country
2. In relation to the question what does the information transmitted by the traditional mass media mean to you (asking them to select two answers from the defined list of choices), the respondents answered as follows: Slightly more than 1 in 3 respondents said that this information is not only unreliable, but above all useless to him/her. Only 1 in 5 respondents stated that the information transmitted by conventional media is true and useful. Similarly, 1 in 3 respondents said that the information transmitted by the classical media, especially television in the first place, is pure propaganda.
3. When asked if they were required to save any media from destruction (selecting two answers from a defined list of choices), the respondents answered: Only 7% of them said that they would keep newspapers, less than 1 in 2 respondents stated that they would maintain television and more than 2 in 3 young people answered that they would protect social networks.
4. As regards the question how much do they consider corruption in Albania a very widespread phenomenon and which takes place at high intensity (asking them to select two answers from the defined list of choices), the participants in the survey responded: more than 1 in 2 respondents stated that corruption pervades and occurs highly intensive and only 1 in 20 respondents said that corruption is a rare occurrence.
5. Asked what they think are the most corrupt institutions (requiring them to select two answers from the defined list of choices), 45% of the respondents marked the municipalities as corrupt and 39% of them said the most corrupt is the central government.
6. In relation to the question where do young people denounce or talk about cases of corruption experienced in life (asking them to select two answers from a defined list of choices), the participants responded: nearly 1 in 2 does not denounce it because they do not believe it could bring anything useful. Likewise 1 in 2 respondents said that they talk about it at home. 35% of the respondents stated that they talk about corruption cases only on social networks that they share with friends.
7. However when asked why do young people communicate so often on social networks, including the TikTok platform (requiring them to select two answers from the defined list of choices), 2 in 3 participants in the survey stated to entertain.
8. In regard to the question which technological achievements are they going to save if the others are destined to be destroyed (asking them to select two answers from the defined list of choices), the respondents answered: more than 1 in 3 participants in the survey said that they would save the family car, only 1 in 5 responded television and 2 in 3 respondents stated that they would protect their personal phone.
Based on these main results and the others that emerged, we conclude that:
- The trust of young people in conventional media does not hold steady.
- For that reason, they generally distance themselves from mass information about the life of the country.
- In general, young people prefer to express themselves on social networks by creating an alternative sociability, in a way abandoning the social connections that mass information enables to middle-aged and elderly people. It creates to some extent a generation gap in the public space of society.
- Young people manage to express themselves with regard to public life mainly to their families or on social networks, but they are not active in society to denounce corruption or improve democracy.
- TikTok like other social media platforms is seen almost exclusively as a means of entertainment or pastime, but not as communication tools that can contribute to a better society and more responsible governance in front of the public opinion.
- A possible space for social emancipation emerges as recommendations precisely:
- Trying to orient communication agendas on social networks towards engagement against negative social phenomena, such as corruption, etc.
- Increasing the contribution of communication to social networks to strengthen the public opinion of the country.
- Democratization of the conventional media that in the face of losing the new audiences needs to update information and the way of communicating with audiences.
- The weakness of today’s social opinion also deals with the fact that young people have embraced an alternative sociability, closing themselves off, therefore the return so to speak of the ‘language’, of the ‘communication’ of the youth is an important way to strengthen the role of the citizen as well as the media as the fourth and fifth power.