A dinner at the well-known restaurant Guva in Berat produced more "news" and likes than the arrests of SPAK for 8 former officials involved in the sterilization file.
Four Italian teenagers, smiling and full of energy, enjoyed the Albanian cuisine, complimented the staff on the quality and when it was their turn to pay, they secretly left the restaurant in a hurry. The unpaid bill of 80 euros!
The staff of the restaurant were left confused, not only by the sudden departure, but also by the courage of the young people.
Staff posted a short video on social media showing the teenagers leaving the restaurant.
"Our staff wishes these Italian "gentlemen" happy holidays and do something good with the UNPAID lek in our restaurant!!!".
So far nothing extraordinary. More than the financial loss, the post expresses frustration with the behavior of teenagers.
Portals with the speed of July fire in a heather forest took this "event" and "decorated" it with sensational, generalizing and denigrating headlines.
The narrative quickly shifted from a minor act of wrongdoing to a larger narrative.
While the action of the youth is reprehensible, the media instead of the brush took a big brush to paint with headlines an entire people and a country and who? Italy, the homeland of 700 thousand Albanian immigrants over the years.
Can an isolated incident fill the news gap of a hot August day?
Social media is known for its sense of sensationalism and polarization, but portals with an influence on opinion could be careful not to fall into the trap of generalizations and stereotypes.
Perhaps the restaurant itself can serve as a catalyst to rectify the taste of the bombastic headlines.
I'm curious if the restaurant posts "we wrote about 4 Italian teenagers and not about "Italian tourists" will it go as viral as the video?
The media has the power to shape perceptions, influence debates, and create or undo stereotypes. While the act of the four youths was wrong, it can also serve as a reminder that a single event cannot generalize people and places. You can't tie the forest with a rope...