Prepared by: Ridona Berisha
On August 29, 2023, the public medium RTKlive.com published an article titled “Kosovo has Economic Growth, Surpassing Balkan Neighbors.”
This article was also published by other news portals such as: Indeksonline, RadioGjilani, Insajder, Mesazhi.com, lideri.mk, etc. It also had extensive shares on social networks by officials from the ruling party and their supporters, considering it a significant achievement that a prestigious medium is confirming what they have continuously stated: Kosovo has the highest economic growth in the region.
But this was not an investigative article by “The Economist” magazine, but an article sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo (OEK) to promote Kosovar businesses.
On the official website of “Economist Impact”, it is explained at the top of the article that it was not written by the staff of “The Economist”. “Such placements are clearly labeled as Advertisement, Advertisement feature, Sponsored content, Sponsor perspective, or words to that effect wherever they appear on our website or apps. Neither The Economist news and editorial team, nor Economist Impact’s independent experts, have any involvement in the creation of this content.” is written in the information section.
After numerous reactions, the article has been edited by RTK by entering the description as a sponsored article.
There were also many reactions on social media. The former director of OEK (Kosovo Chamber of Commerce), Berat Rukiqi, explained that the advertisement in “The Economist, is the result of a Memorandum signed by the Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, the Club of Producers of Kosovo and the Project of USAID, Kosovo Compete, in December 2021”, while adding that “the Government of the Republic of Kosovo has not agreed to pay a single cent for this promotion”.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.