Efforts to establish the Albanian press gained momentum with the 1911 publication of the first Albanian-language newspaper, "Skopje," in Kosovo's capital. Progress continued during WWII with publications like "Liria - Sloboda" and "Zani." However, organised and structured Albanian-language media in Kosovo began in 1945.

In February 1945, media history in Kosovo took its first steps. Radio Prishtina commenced broadcasts, followed by the first issue of the newspaper "Rilindja" later that month. Throughout the period from 1945 to 1990, Kosovo functioned as an autonomous province within the Yugoslav system, shaping its media landscape accordingly. In the same year, the first Albanian-language newspaper, 'Rilindja,' initiated its publication. Initially a weekly, it transitioned to bi-weekly in 1948 and became a daily newspaper in November 1958. 'Rilindja' and Radio Prishtina emerged as the primary media outlets, followed by the launch of the first Albanian television channel in Kosovo in 1975. The 1974 constitution brought increased autonomy to Kosovo and paved the way for the establishment of the inaugural Albanian-speaking television channel, Television of Prishtina.

A significant transformation took place in 1990 when Kosovo's autonomy was forcefully suppressed, leaving Kosovo Albanians without their primary media. Following Kosovo's re-occupation in July 1990, Radio and Television of Pristina were integrated into the Serbian state media framework. The "Rilindja" Publishing and Graphic Journalist Enterprise underwent a similar fate, falling under Serbian state administration. Consequently, the "Rilindja" newspaper ceased publication. Throughout the 1990s, concerted efforts were made to prevent the public from being devoid of information sources.

The path to independence began with the publication of daily magazines like "Fjala," "Zëri," "Skhëndija," and "Kosovarja," without official permission. These publications served as replacements for the previous newspaper. This practice continued until 1993. Following a journalists' strike in May 1993, the magazine "Bujku" took on the role of the "Rilindja" newspaper, with the same team and location. Meanwhile, other magazines were forced out of their facilities but continued to publish independently.

The 1990s witnessed the emergence of notable publications and broadcasting entities. Magazines such as "Forum" and "Koha" were introduced, with "Koha" later transitioning into the newspaper "Koha Ditore." In 1998, the "Kosova Sot" newspaper began its publication. During the same period, "Bota Sot" operated from both Switzerland and Pristina. Radio 21 commenced broadcasts in 1998, followed by "Radio Kosova e Lirë" in 1999, coinciding with the establishment of the news agency "Kosova Press." Although media pluralism flourished during the 1990s, it operated outside the Yugoslav state system, making it an unofficial form of pluralism.

Following 1999, media pluralism took root in Kosovo, marked by the establishment of new newspapers, the licensing of three national-frequency television stations, and the licensing of certain radio stations. The closure of RTP paved the way for Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK). RTK  was founded in 1999, alongside two other privately-owned national TV stations, KTV and RTV21, which have also been operational since that time. Its establishment was supported by the UN and OSCE Mission in Kosovo which re-employed former RTP staff, leading to RTK's broadcasting debut in September 1999 via analog satellite transmission. Daily broadcasts began with two hours, expanding to four hours in November 2000, predominantly in Albanian, with a daily news segment in Serbian and Turkish. By July of the following year, RTK extended its daily airtime to seven hours, introducing Bosnian programming.

Since the end of the war the media landscape in Kosovo grew rapidly, with the establishment of several media outlets initially through donor help, as well as many national and local privately-owned media companies. This also included the establishment of local TV stations that, despite limitations in programming, also offered content in Serbian language, which were welcomed by the local audience. In 1999, there were six print newspapers available in the market. Between 2000 and 2004, a total of seven daily newspapers were published, although not consistently the same ones each year. As of 2010, the market featured ten daily newspapers. Among these, Bota Sot, Koha Ditore, and Zëri were the most widely read. Consequently, the count of daily print newspapers increased from six in 1999 to ten in 2010, but dwindled to only four by 2019.

In 2001, RTK became an independent public service broadcaster under a UNMIK regulation, initially managed by the European Broadcasting Union. By year-end, a non-political Board of Directors was established, freeing RTK from EBU oversight.

Post 2008 declaration of independence, online media burgeoned, altering Kosovo's media landscape and rivaling television as the primary information source. While newspaper numbers have diminished, television experienced growth with new entities like Klan Kosova, Dukagjini, and T7. Radio remained relatively constant, with three main stations—Radio Kosova, Radio 21, and Radio Dukagjini. Notably, Radio Kosova 2 accommodates programming in minority languages like Serbian and Turkish.

The past decade has brought about significant transformation from traditional to online media in Kosovo’s media ecosystem, owing to technological advancements and the widespread availability and access to the internet and social media. Media entities have adapted by incorporating online and social media into their business models, reshaping the journalist's role. Due to the speed with which information can be published on online media, the newsrooms have placed undue burden on journalists to meet quotas, which often results in unverified information proliferated through social media channels. 

The Press Council of Kosovo (PCK) and the Independent Media Commission were also established in 2005 with the help of OSCE Mission in Kosovo. Today, PCK  operates as  a self-regulatory body founded for and by the print media sector in Kosovo. Its mission is based on the convictions of the Press Code of Kosovo. While, IMC is an independent body responsible for the regulation, management and oversight of the broadcasting frequency spectrum in the Republic of Kosovo.

  • Project by
    Global Media Registry
    Funded by European Union