Exclusive Interview with Professional Journalist Rudina Hoxha
Rudina Hoxha is a professional journalist and freelance consultant based in Albania. With a background in journalism/public relations, Rudina has a substantial experience in marketing, communicating and writing especially in such fields as European integration, human rights, women’s issues in the Western Balkans, technology and business.
From 2009 – 2011, she was a contributor of Southeast Europe: People and Culture. Before that, she worked as a journalist for Albanian Daily News where she was responsible for reporting, editing as well as staff training.
Rudina holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from University of Tirana, Faculty of Foreign Languages, and she was a H.J. Heinz Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh.
Since 2012, Rudina has been covering international press trips related to interesting issues for the Albanian media. Among them, she has very successfully covered:
She is a member of SEEMO, based in Vienna. She has been selected among the best 10 winners of 2013 Journalism Prize, WritingforCEE, awarded by the Austrian Press Agency. Rudina also works for Eurofast.
In this exclusive interview, Rudina Hoxha shares personal and professional insights into her career journey, talks about where she finds inspiration and provides tips on how to become a successful journalist.
Magazine MN: How did you start your career as a journalist? How did your career unfold? What topics do you cover?
Rudina: I set myself as a duty to write the truth, not words pouring from my soul, because I am not a poet. My career journey towards journalism began when I started to work for a small English-language journal published in Albania. This medium gave me the chance to build a nice network with the foreigners working and living in Albania. I must admit – collaborating with the foreigners had always been very natural to me.
After some years, I decided to go to the US to follow my studies in advanced journalism, public relations and entrepreneurship. I remember my then-boss, who did not like the idea of leaving the paper for a two-year period, told me ironically “I hope you don’t come back with baggy jeans like all the Americans do.” Instead I came back with a completely different perspective about the people, my city, my life and my destiny. I was not the same person anymore. That was the beginning of a new career ahead of me as a journalist. Since then, I have been covering various aspects of the European integration, a buzzword in Albanian reality. I also write on business/technology issues. My entrepreneurship studies in the US have been a sound basis in this regard.
Magazine MN: What do you like most about being a journalist? As an established journalist, what is your motto?
Rudina: The fact that you always wonder. This kind of sensation makes you constantly curious, thoughtful and driven. My motto is “Don’t mess with the truth.”
Magazine MN: What was the most memorable moment in your career?
Rudina: I have had many. But one is special. My trip to Vienna to interview one of the most noteworthy Austrian politicians and former Chancellor of Austria – Franz Vranitzky. We had agreed to meet at “Europa Café” at the center of Austrian capital one sunny but really cold day!
I came 10 minutes earlier to be sure I was on time. Mr. Vranitzky was already there chatting with a man at another table. Politely enough, when he saw me entering the Café, he approached lightly to my table. After making sure I was the confirmed journalist, he told me he would be right back with me. The whole interview was a return to the 1997 dark times and the way he mediated the Albanian politicians of opposite political views to sit at the same table for the sake of saving their own country. That interview was different from my previous ones – it was filled with emotions. A petite journalist met a ‘big’ politician. I hope I’ll have other similar occasions in the future.
Magazine MN: What awards have you received in the field of journalism?
Rudina: That of being an independent journalist, free from political influences. I think this matters more than the awards. Some friends say that this is my curse. Maybe yes! But, for me, it feels right this way.
Magazine MN: In your opinion, what qualities/skills are required to become a successful journalist?
Rudina: Personally, to become a successful journalist, I think it is important to get to the core of every matter before grabbing the pencil to write on.
Recently I had a meeting with an ambassador, accredited in Albania, who expressed his concern about the way some articles are written in the Albanian press now and back then. He said he could not find facts pertaining to the core matter but just endless comments on the part of the involved people and on the part of the journalist. So, where are the facts?
In other words, the matter needs to be first understood by the journalist and then explained in simpler words to the public before going into comments. Also, don’t let yourself to assume or guess! In the end, the reality must triumph. Studying the human being, its mind and soul is another challenge which asks for the journalist’s skills.
Magazine MN: As a journalist, it seems your day is quite hectic. How do you keep yourself productive?
Rudina: I cherish hope and I am constantly aware that flour can not fall from above if you do not work. Hope is the engine that fuels my energy. Also my 6 year old daughter recharges my energies. She is the one. Last but not least, the love for the man of my heart. Being very intelligent and visionary, he is searching for the right moment to seize in order to make a real contribution to Albania.
Magazine MN: Recently, you have become a part of the project Women Inspire Action. Tell us a bit about this project. What inspired you to become a part of it?
Rudina: Writing offers the possibility to make an impact in the society. Women Inspire Action project is a great opportunity in this regard. This project aims at learning how and why women are inspired by other women to take actions in order to create a better future for themselves and further.
This project is founded by Ms. Ina Gjikondi, a dear friend, who is a leadership coach, organizational development professional and social entrepreneur. She works in higher education at The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership as the Manager of Leadership Development Programs.
The project is now hosting a series of events at the George Washington University in Washington DC with women around the globe and I am so thrilled to be part of a learning and growing community that contributes, gives backs and co-creates an emerging future. It allows me to be different and, at the same time, inspired by the stories of various women from all over the world! For me, it is contagious!
Lately I also became a part of the International Friends of Albania, a networking group where the foreign women in Albania, mostly the spouses of ambassadors serving in Albania as well as representatives of various foreign organizations, volunteers, expats and Albanians too, get together and stimulate debates on various hot topics relating to Albania while they also offer charities and encourage cultural and social events. We meet every Friday and it is really refreshing.
Magazine MN: Who among women leaders inspire you the most and why?
Rudina: All the women around the world who manage to overcome a harsh life and begin a new one. This shows that they believe. To me, they are a symbol of endurance in all the respects of this word. It takes a lot until they make it.
Magazine MN: How can our readers get in touch with you?
Rudina: When the articles are well written and they inspire the readers, the latter find you easily. Though I am quite active on the social media where everyone can contact me.
Get in touch with Rudina on:
LinkedIn: Rudina Hoxha
Rudina Hoxha was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska
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