Albanian TV newsreaders strip down to boost audience


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Faced with tough competition to win over audiences, an Albanian TV channel is taking a literal approach towards giving viewers the "naked" truth -- by employing almost-topless newsreaders.

Wearing open jackets and nothing underneath, the young women reading the headlines on Zjarr TV are an unprecedented sight in the conservative Balkan country, where they first appeared on television and Internet screens last year.

The channel's owner says audiences haven't stopped growing since.

"In Albania, where the news is manipulated by political powers, the audience needed a medium that would present the information like it is -- naked," Zjarr TV owner Ismet Drishti told AFP.

"We don't sell sex, we reproduce the news as it is. It's both symbolic and good publicity," said Drishti, who plans to launch French and English language bulletins with "bare information" following the same model.

For 24-year-old presenter Greta Hoxhaj, working in a state of near undress has proved to be a shortcut to glory.

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