Radio has been an important source of information for Albanians during the twentieth century; however, its influence has dwindled after the collapse of the communist regime in 1991– which lifted restrictions on media ownership, while technological advances such as the internet, social media, podcasts and digital television have carved away its market. According to a media consumption survey published by the Balkan Investigative Reporting in Network in July 2023, radio is used as a source of information by 9% of the public every day or almost every day and at least once a week by another 11%.
The public broadcaster Radio Tirana was launched in 1938 and flourished as a propaganda medium during the communist regime, from 1945 to 1991. The public broadcaster has 11 radio stations, 3 broadcast in FM waves nationally (Radio Tirana 1, Radio Tirana 2 and Radio Tirana Classic), 4 digital terrestrial frequencies and four local radio stations (Radio Korca, Radio Shkodra, Radio Kukës, Radio Gjirokastra). There are currently three commercial national radio stations broadcasting in Albania and 52 regional commercial ones. Three commercial national stations are Top Albania Radio, Radio Club FM and Radio Klan. The number of regional radio stations includes three that rebroadcast foreign radio stations: Radio BBC, Radio RFI and Radio China International, CRI. In this list are also four community radio stations linked to religious organizations: Radio Spektrum/The Muslim Community; Radio Dodona: Bektashti Order; Radio Maria/ Radio Maria Foundation and Radio Ngjallja/ The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania.
Most radio stations in Albania, apart from the public broadcaster Radio Tirana, broadcast mainly music and only short newscasts at the turn of the hour during the day. Some radio outlets, that are part of media groups also operating 24 hour news stations, simply re-broadcast the feed from these TV channels during the day or a combination of news from TV and music. In response to technological changes in the market, some radio stations are adapting their daily shows or producing original content as podcasts.
The sample of 10 radio stations chosen for this study was based on the fact whether the radio station in question broadcasts news.