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September 2020

Monthly Bulletin, September 2020

Media News

The Government’s Answer to the Journalist Crisis Cell's Petition: Regulatory Framework on Access to Information to Be Revisited

On May 25, the Journalist Crisis Cell, established in April by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), sent the government a petition signed by more than 350 people, which flagged general problems with access to information of public interest and restrictive rules which baselessly limited access to information during the state of emergency. The petition highlighted the need to approve a draft law which would improve the legal framework regulating access to information. The State Chancellery’s answer reached the IJC in mid-September, although, according to the government’s Communication Division, it had been drawn up as far back as the beginning of June. The government informed the IJC that it intended to approve and submit to Parliament a draft law on publicity by December, and, by November 2021, to review existing legislation with the goal of “strengthening fundamental human freedoms, including the freedom of expression, and prohibiting baseless limitation of access to information.” An earlier initiative of the Crisis Cell was to ask the Ministry of Health to hold online press conferences during the pandemic, where the journalists could ask questions in real time. After numerous requests, the ministry organized the first conference on 1 May, and kept doing so until September, when the Ministry put them on hold to focus on handling an overwhelming workload resulting from the increase in COVID-19 cases. The Ministry’s Communication Adviser announced, however, that they would soon resume holding press conferences.

New Production: the IJC Launched the Only Media Literacy Podcast in Moldova

On September 15, the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) launched the first media literacy podcast in Republic of Moldova, called “Podcast cuMINTE” [“The MINDful Podcast”]. Starting with the first episode, which explains disinformation amidst the pandemic, Podcast cuMINTE will help its listeners filter information they read in print media, hear on the radio and on TV, or see on social media. Podcast cuMINTE will broadcast twice a month in Romanian, but there will also be a few episodes in Russian. According to IJC Strategic Development Officer Ina Grejdeanu, the IJC has been promoting media literacy and critical thinking through different initiatives for several years now, and the podcast will be a useful tool to encourage people to question what they read and to look for information across several different sources. Podcast cuMINTE will soon be available on smartphones via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. The host of this podcast is Ana Sarbu.
Podcast cuMINTE is produced by the IJC with the support of the Embassy of Finland in Bucharest, as part of the project “Media Literacy: innovative tools for media-savvy citizens.”

Media NGOs Condemn the Abusive Actions of the State Protection and Guard Service Against Journalists

Seven media organizations issued a joint statement condemning the abusive actions of the State Protection and Guard Service (SPGS) staff, who, on September 9, blocked journalists’ access to the exit of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), preventing them from asking questions of President Dodon, who was there to register in the presidential race.
The signatories of the joint statement – the Independent Journalism Center, the Association of Independent Press, the Electronic Press Association, the Association of Independent TV Journalists, the “Acces-Info” Center, RISE Moldova and the Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association – noted that the Law on State Protection and Guard Service requires the SPGS’ officers to observe human rights, civic freedoms, and the legitimate interests of the media. The Law on Freedom of Expression also stipulates that nobody can prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest unless prescribed by law, and Article 180 of the Criminal Code stipulates that the intentional obstruction of media and journalistic activity can be subject to criminal liability. The media NGOs called on the SPGS to instruct its officers to refrain from abusive behavior against journalists.

CEC Approved New Regulations on the Organization of Election Debates. Media Experts Say the New Rules Are “to the Advantage of Politicians”

On September 1, the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) approved regulations on how the media should cover the presidential campaign. Among other things, they provide that television broadcasters can either organize their own presidential debates or rebroadcast the debates organized by the public broadcaster Moldova 1. The Broadcasting Council (BC) had previously proposed that debates be organized only by the public broadcaster, forcing other channels to rebroadcast them. At a CEC meeting, CEC member Maxim Lebedinschi clarified that this proposal was made in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and that it was “amended a little,” as broadcasters can now choose one of the two options. According to Nadine Gogu, Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), this rule could harm diversity of opinion. “That provision is to the detriment of the public and to the advantage of some politicians who, usually, do not feel comfortable in debates held by TV channels other than the ones affiliated with the political parties they are from or other than the public broadcaster,” the expert commented on Petru Macovei, CEO of the Association of Independent Press (API), also believes that the proposed provisions are politically motivated. Ziarul de Garda manager Alina Radu posted on social media that: “It feels like the BC, or CEC, or TVM, or all three of them, are in dire need of a protest.”

PSRM Sued PRO TV Chisinau for a Show That Covered the “Bahamas” Case

The Party of Socialists sued Pro TV Chisinau and journalist Lorena Bogza for alleged defamation for the April 30 edition of the show In Profunzime.The show discussed the  criminal case opened in 2016 on the laundering of € 1.5 million in the Bahamas via the company Exclusiv Media, owned by Socialist MP Corneliu Furculita. This scheme surfaced in September 2016, after RISE Moldova reporters published their investigation of “Dodon's Money From The Bahamas.”  MP Iurie Renita recently posted on his Facebook page a copy of a contract allegedly proving a relationship between an offshore company and Furculita’s company. Lorena Bogza invited Renita on “In Profunzime” to talk about it.  Bogza tried to learn more about the money transferred via Exclusiv Media, and asked Renita what could happen should it be proven that the illegal money was used for President Dodon’s 2016 presidential campaign. According to Pro TV, PSRM saw those questions as defamatory and as “a deliberate violation of the presumption of innocence,” since “no decision was approved allowing for the dissemination of information in a univocal and certain way, the public being misled to believe in the true and irrevocable nature of the comments made in the show.” PSRM’s lawsuit against Pro TV was registered with the Chisinau Court on June 24.

Casa Media, Fined MDL 1.8 Million for Abusive Practices on the Advertising Market, Challenged the Decision in Court

The Competition Council (CC) fined the Casa Media advertising agency – which is affiliated with Vlad Plahotniuc, ex-leader of the Democratic Party – MDL 1.8 million (€90.793) for actions which had harmed a number of television broadcasters and advertising agencies. Casa Media challenged the CC decision in court on September 10, 2020. According to Casa Media, the CC was manipulated by “political pressure and media attacks”. The investigation, which took over two years, was triggered by a complaint filed by four TV channels – RTR Moldova, Pro TV Chisinau, Jurnal TV and TV8 – on January 19,  2018. They claimed that there was cartel collusion between the Casa Media Corp and Exclusiv Sales House advertising agencies. According to, Casa Media – the only shareholder of which appears to be Dorin Pavelescu, an intermediary from Plahotniuc’s inner circle – had allegedly sold advertising to channels affiliated with the former PDM leader, while Exclusiv Sales House – founded by the company Exclusiv Media and belonging to PSRM MP Corneliu Furculita, has allegedly sold advertising to people related to PSRM. The investigation did not provide the CC with enough evidence to prove the alleged market allocation agreement, but it did establish that Casa Media Corp was the only company that had market dominance between 2017 and the first half of 2019, and also had a unique approach to the procurement of advertising space, which put certain TV channels and advertising providers at an unfair disadvantage.

Chisinau Court Rejected TV8’s Lawsuit Against the BC. TV8 to Appeal Against the Ruling

The Riscani Branch of the Chisinau Court rejected a lawsuit brought by TV8 representatives against the Broadcasting Council (BC) which asked for a reversal of  sanctions imposed on it for broadcasting the show ‘Internetu’ Graieste.’ At the September 15 court hearing, Judge Viorica Dodon rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that it was “filed with the court in violation of the preliminary procedure set out in the law.”  Vitalie Enache, TV8’s legal representative, said that TV8 planned to appeal the decision. At the end of May, TV8 was fined MDL 10,000 (€500) for an episode of the show “Internetu’ Graieste,” produced by Andrei Bolocan and Nata Albot, in which the hosts referred to a Facebook post by Elena Pahomova, an NTV Moldova journalist. Pahomova was dissatisfied with the show, and she and NTV Moldova filed a complaint with the BC. The BC later fined TV8 another MDL 5,000 (€250) for not having informed the public it was fined. The BC rejected TV8’s request to suspend enforcement of these sanctions, leading TV8 to sue in court.

The BC Is Considering Notifying the Prosecutor’s Office About the Procurement of a Software Program Worth Almost Half a Million Lei

The Broadcasting Council (BC) is trying to clarify the circumstances that led to the purchase of a software program for MDL 415,000 (€20,657) that was never used.  This issue was raised by Court of Accounts’ (CoA) last audit of the BC. The CoA report, published in June and covering 2018-2019, noted that the purchase of the Mediamon system, intended for monitoring audiovisual programs, resulted in losses of almost half a million lei. BC president Dragos Vicol claimed that he had started an internal investigation into the matter and that he would file a request with the Office of the Prosecutor General for them to investigate the acquisition. By law, the BC must notify prosecutors within six months of receiving the Court of Accounts’ report, i.e. before December 2020. The software was purchased ten years ago, when the BC President was Gheorghe Gorincioi, who was convicted of corruption in 2015, and who passed away in that same year.

How Much Presidential Candidates Will Have to Pay for One Minute of TV Advertising

Prime TVRTR Moldova and Moldova 1 charge the most for election advertising. According to the CEC website, Prime TV initially charged €3,000 per minute; however, information published subsequently by the Broadcasting Council (BC) shows that they later halved the fee to €1,500. RTR Moldova ranks second, charging €1,000 per minute, followed by public broadcaster Moldova 1, which charges €900. Canal 2 and Canal 3, affiliated with the PDM ex-leader Vlad Plahotniuc, recently cut their fees from €800 to €500 per minute, while Publika TV, another channel belonging to Plahotniuc, still charges 800 per minute. Next in line is Pro TV Chisinau, charging €840. Most television broadcasters affiliated with the Socialist Party – i.e. NTV Moldova, Exclusiv TV and Primul in Moldova  charge €500, while Accent TV charges no more than €75. Relatively smaller fees are charged by N4 (€480),  Jurnal TV (€400) and TV8 (€300 per minute during prime-time and €150 during off-time). Of TV channels affiliated with Ilan Sor Televiziunea Centrala charges € 250, and Orheil TV charges €100. ITV charges €250, while  Agro TV, Familia Domashniy, CTC Mega charge €200 per minute each. Fees for election advertising on radio are smaller, costing between €7 and €125.

Pro TV Chisinau Became a National Media Services Provider

Pro TV Chisinau won the contest to fill an available slot in Multiplex A, and so became a national provider. This decision was made unanimously by the Broadcasting Council (BC) at its September 3 meeting. The national digital Multiplex A has a total of 15 broadcasting slots. Only 11 of them were filled before this decision, meaning three remain open. BC President Dragos Vicol said at the meeting that the BC would soon announce another competition for the still-unclaimed slots, although there is no great demand from television broadcasters. One explanation for this is the high costs for this service – up to €11,000 a month. According to “Radiocomunicatii”, Multiplex A’s digital signal covers about 96% of the territory of Moldova.

ANRCETI: Internet-Based Television Services Continue to Grow

The sales volume of internet-based television services (IPTV) reached MDL 31.8 million in the second quarter of this year, an increase by about 46% compared to the same period of last year. The sales volume of cable television providers increased by 29%. According to the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), most subscribers now use IPTV, while a smaller number use cable television. The data also shows that the share of subscribers watching television in digital format reached almost 78%, while the share of those who opted for analog TV dropped to 22%. During the reporting period, the market shares of paid TV services are : Moldtelecom – 34%, TV BOX (StarNet) – 33%, Orange Moldova – 5%; all other providers sum to 28%.

Media Monitoring

IJC Report: Moldova 1 Covered Opposition Parties and Politicians Neutrally, But Favored President Dodon

The Independent Journalism Center’s (IJC) new public broadcaster monitoring report found that from August 31 – September 6, Moldova 1’s main newscast “Mesager” was for the most part neutral in its political coverage. Nevertheless, its journalists did break a few ethical rules concerning impartiality by shedding a positive light on President Dodon. The report showed that central authorities (such as the President’s office, the government, and Parliament) continue to be most frequently mentioned institutions in news on Moldova 1. President Dodon was the source most frequently mentioned or quoted directly or indirectly, having appeared in every 9th piece of news (16 news items). “The head of state was put in a favorable light by the public television broadcaster, which applied manipulation techniques such as suggestion or the Saviour of the Nation/Messiah technique. Some pieces of news were on the edge of political advertising and electoral PR. Several other violations were also committed, including not having granted the right of reply or not having specified the source of footage,” noted the report’s author, media researcher Victor Gotisan. He recommended the Broadcasting Council take action to keep tabs on Moldova 1 to watch for major violations of ethical and legal rules, and to impose sanctions where there were violations.

First Petitions Received on the T(V)E Priveste! Platform Examined by the BC

Media consumers reported to the Independent Journalism Center’s (IJC) T(V)E Priveste! platform that some TV channels broadcasted programs with hidden advertising favoring the Sor Party. Prime TV reported on the street lighting, playgrounds and other social projects carried out by the party, and included speeches by party leader Ilan Sor and MPs from the party. Other readers reported that Televiziunea Centrala did not respect diversity and balance of opinion, as it broadcast least two positive and complimentary pieces of news about Sor in every prime time newscast. At their September 11 meeting, Broadcasting Council (BC) members acknowledged the existence of those news items, but did not impose any sanctions, arguing they did not have a legal right to regulate political advertising. Several media experts, including Eugeniu Ribca, Nadine Gogu, and Ion Bunduchi, claim that the law does give them that right, but the BC doesn’t have the political will to enforce it. After the BC received the IJC’s notification, Televiziunea Centrla, Prime TV and Canal 2 removed the segments which portrayed the Sor Party in a positive light.Another petition filed with the BC based on viewers’ complaints raised the issue of several channels not displaying an age limit symbol at hours at which children can still be watching TV. At the same meeting mentioned above, the BC only decided to fine the company Urania FM (which owns the local station NTS), while six other channels (Mujskoe Kino, Кинохит, Киносемья, TV 1000, TV 1000A, Vip Comedy) were not sanctioned. As in the previous cast, the BC claimed it had no legal right to sanction these other channels – which, again, media experts disputed.

Coverage of the Transnistria Dispute by Media on Both Banks of the Dniester: Reciprocal Accusations and No Right of Reply

When covering the Transnistrian issue, most national media establishments cover Tiraspol authorities negatively and rarely quote them. On the other hand, media on the left side of the Dniester reflects the point of view of Transnistrian authorities and, more often than not, hurls accusations at Chisinau – all this according to a monitoring report of ten press establishments on both banks of the Dniester published by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on September 24. The report, “Transnistria Conflict-Related Coverage in Mass Media,” tackles the way in which seven media establishments on the right bank and three on the left covered the Chisinau – Tiraspol relationship in April and June. At an event introducing the research results, IJC Executive Director Nadine Gogu mentioned that right bank media organizations are reluctant to tackle the Transnistrian issue. She underscored that of the analyzed materials (364), more than half were published by the media establishments on the left bank, despite the fact that only three Transnistrian organizations were monitored.  The report recommends that journalists stop including their own opinions in their coverage, that articles should not only make quote official sources, and that media establishments on both banks of the Dniester should be more active in covering cross-bank relations, to ensure a correct and balanced presentation of reality.

Two Television Broadcasters Fined MDL 10,000 Each by the BC

In its September 23 meeting, the Broadcasting Council (BC) sanctioned TVC 21 and Televiziunea Centrala MDL 10,000 (€500) each: the former for violating certain conditions of the broadcasting license regarding children’s interests, and the latter for not broadcasting enough of its own programming.
The complaint concerning TVC 21 was filed by the National Centre for Prevention of Child Abuse, which requested the BC examine of a September episode of the show “Important”, in which children’s identity was not protected. Meanwhile, monitoring of Televiziunea Centrala from September 7-13, initiated at the request of BC member Ion Robu, revealed that only 27% of its broadcasts were its own productions, well short of the required 40%.

Several TV Stations Were Sanctioned for Insufficient Local Audiovisual Programs in Romanian

The Broadcasting Council (BC) issued public warnings to three television broadcasters for not broadcasting enough local audiovisual programs in Romanian. Another channel was fined MDL 5,000 (€250) for not dubbing films in the state language. The fines were determined at a September 11 meeting. The law requires that at least 80% of local programs be broadcast in Romanian, and at least 75% of programs broadcast in prime time. BC monitors found that from July 17-23, channels ITV and N4 TV missed both requirements, while in Taraclia, the local channel NTS missed the prime time broadcasting requirement. Thus, all three channels were issued public warnings. At the same meeting, the BC fined Bravo TV MDL 5,000 for failing to dub all but one of its children’s cartoons in that period into Romanian. TVR Moldova,  Primul in Moldova, NTV Moldova, Prime, Publika TV, Canal 2, Canal 3 and CTC Mega channels have all been issued public warnings at previous meetings for similar reasons.

MDL 5,000 Fines Imposed for TV Channels’ Incorrect Use of Logos

Five television broadcasters - Media TV, TV Prim, Orizont TV, ATV and NTS - were fined MDL 5,000 (€250) each by the Broadcasting Council (BC) for using different logos from those approved by the BC. The BC made this decision at its September 17 meeting, after BC member Lidia Viziru raised the issue. She drew attention to the fact that changes in the name and branding elements of audiovisual media service providers requires BC approval. However, these five broadcasters had changed their logos without applying for approval. NTS was also issued a public warning for broadcasting films without Romanian dubbing or subtitling. At the same meeting, the BC issued public warnings to Jurnal TV and Pro TV Chisinau. Pro TV broadcasted uncensored images with a potentially negative impact on children, while Jurnal TV failed to announce to viewers that a show was a rerun.

Internews Updates 

Media Literacy for Everyone!

Since August 2020, Media Literacy textbooks at all levels (primary, secondary and high school) are also available in the Braille alphabet. The Association of the Blind from Moldova, with the help of the National Center for Information and Rehabilitation and the Center for Independent Journalism of Moldova, edited and adjusted the textbooks in Braille. Books will be delivered to three specialized schools where visually impaired children study, to the territorial organizations of the Association of the Blind, and to libraries across the country. Also, all of the textbooks were recorded in audio format on 50 CDs. 
 Dumitru Stoianov, journalist and media education instructor, also provided two workshops on media literacy to the teachers and members of the Association, talking about the importance of critical thinking and a healthy information environment. The textbooks, as well as the trainings, are part of the USAID and UK aid-funded project “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) implemented by Internews in Moldova, which aims to promote the development of an independent, professional media, and to create a media sector that is more resilient to political and financial pressures.

Four Moldovan Media Outlets, Supported by the IJC, Shared Their Experiences Increasing Audience and Revenues

At a September 25 event, the Independent Journalism Center’s (IJC) media partners Locals, Observatorul de Nord, Wind and Stiri pozitive, alongside international experts Natalia Belogrudova and Serge Sakharau, shared their experience of working together in increasing audience sizes and revenues and improving their content. In May and June, Belogrudova and Sakharau had given online consultations to the four media outlets, as well as suggestions and recommendations for increasing their audiences, based on the specific needs of each outlet. The experts spent two days virtually in the offices of the four project partners, guiding them on how to become as sustainable as possible and how to provide the reader with information in an attractive format. This year, these four media outlets were each awarded €5,000 grants for implementing initiatives focused on increasing their audience and revenues as part of the “Understanding Audience Through Digital Assistance” project, implemented by the IJC, supported by Internews, and funded by Sweden.

Media Education to Reach Schools Teaching in Russian

A group of 15 Russian-language secondary school teachers from the northern region of the country attended a media education training organized by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) from September 18-20. They were given tips by trainers Natalia Griu, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, and Dumitru Stoianov, journalist and fact-checker.  The trainees were also greeted by Internews representative in Moldova Oxana Iutes, who expressed the hope that when they return to their communities, they will have the opportunity to tell not only students but also their parents about how to filter information and not fall into the trap of misinformation. During the three days of training, the teachers developed their media and digital skills, mastered new interactive techniques and tools, and prepared to teach Media Education to secondary school students. These lessons were held by the Independent Journalism Center in partnership with Internews in Moldova under the “Strengthening the support for independent Russian-language media outlets and for the efforts in education for media field” project.

Students from “Dimitrie Cantemir” Lyceum in Chisinau Began Studying Media Education

Media Education started to be taught as a school subject at all three levels of education – primary, secondary, and high school – in the 2019-2020 school year. Starting this year, the students of “Dimitrie Cantemir” Lyceum in Chisinau will also have the chance to study it. On September 8, to introduce students to the new subject, the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) organized a lesson in which students learned what media education is, how to analyze information in the media, and why it is important to develop their critical thinking skills. The lesson was facilitated by journalist Dumitru Stoianov, who explained that the Media Education elective was designed in such a way as to help them comprehend information better and protect themselves in virtual space. The event was attended by 30 ninth-graders. These lessons were held by the Independent Journalism Center in partnership with Internews in Moldova under the “Strengthening the support for independent Russian-language media outlets and for the efforts in education for media field” project.

The IJC Continued Its Media Education Lessons in Schools. This Time – at Gymnasium No 77 in Cricova

More than 30 students from the eighth to the twelfth grades from the Russian-language Gymnasium No 77 in Cricova, Chisinau municipality, participated in a Media Education lesson on September 14. At the lesson, journalist Dumitru Stoianov taught the students about the main concepts covered by the Media Education elective, and explained to them what critical thinking is, and why it is important to use it when reading the news. At the lesson, the students also analyzed the concepts of cybermobbing, flaming, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and trolling.  The journalist pointed out that in order to keep up with new technologies, they must constantly develop their creativity, critical thinking and digital skills. In his opinion, the Media Education elective can help them develop such skills. These lessons were held by the Independent Journalism Center in partnership with Internews in Moldova under the “Strengthening the support for independent Russian-language media outlets and for the efforts in education for media field” project.

The IJC Launched the Contest “Media Education – A Priority in My School”

The goal of the contest is to support and encourage teachers’ efforts to cultivate the spirit of critical thinking in students. The competition is open to pre-university educational institutions where the Media Education elective is taught in the 2020-2021 school year. In the first stage of the competition, 12 institutions will be selected. They will move on to the second stage of the competition: each school will receive a €300 grant to carry out media education activities for six months, from November 1 to April 30. At the end of the six months, each institution will have to showcase their activities. A jury consisting of representatives of the IJC, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, donors and experts in the field, will select three winners. They will each be awarded an interactive whiteboard, provided by the “Strengthening Media Education Skills” Project, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).

Freedom House Updates

Cu Sens Publishes a Video Investigation on Corruption in Transnistria

On August 29, Freedom House’s partner Cu Sens published their second video as part of their series of journalistic investigations highlighting corruption issues in Moldova. The piece showcases the obstacles that farmers who live in the part of the the left bank of the Dniester River controlled by Moldovan authorities face in accessing their lands, including regular harassment and checks by the Transnistrian authorities. Since the pandemic, the situation has worsened, as additional checkpoints for required health checks have been created along the territory’s de-facto border. On September 16, Cu Sens published a follow up explainer video for this investigation. The explainer provides an overview of the history of Transnistria and its status as a self-declared autonomous republic. Cu Sens is a Media Freedom Matters grantee under the MEDIA-M project implemented by Freedom House and Internews in Moldova and supported by USAID and UK aid.

Piligrim Demo Released A New Monitoring Report on Bias in Gagauz Media

Freedom House partner Piligrim Demo published a report based on a two-month monitoring effort analyzing the extent to which bias is present in the coverage and editorial policy of six prominent Gagauz media outlets. Authored by media expert Petru Macovei of the Association of Independent Press, the report’s analysis shows that five of the six monitored outlets lack independence from political and other interest groups, resulting in biased news coverage., Pro100Radio and Radio Albena all demonstrated high levels of bias in their coverage in favor of specific political parties and figures; Public Radio and TV GRT also practiced selective coverage of events and perspectives that heavily favored the official position of the Moldovan government. Only the platform was found to be fully independent from external interests; nevertheless, the monitoring identified several instances of biased coverage in relation to certain political figures. Piligrim Demo is a Media Freedom Matters grantee under the MEDIA-M project implemented by Freedom House and Internews in Moldova and supported by USAID and UK aid.

New Media Policy Forum Date Announced

On November 24-25, 2020, Freedom House will hold the third annual Media Policy Forum as a scaled-down event that will be part of the two-day Mass-Media Forum organized by API, the Press Council, IJC and the Association for Electronic Press. The event will be held in a mixed online-offline format at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Chisinau. The in-person opening and plenary sessions will bring together up to 50 high-level speakers and stakeholders for media policy reform in Moldova, and will also feature a number of capacity-building online workshops for journalists. Freedom House will facilitate a special online media policy roundtable on the impact of COVID-19 on media freedoms, featuring expert speakers from Moldova, Ukraine and Latvia. Check the Freedom House MEDIA-M program page for regular updates!

The Media Azi Show

The November 1 presidential election is near. An old dilemma arises in these times: many media managers wonder whether running paid advertising for parties or candidates with integrity issues is worth it or not. On the Media Azi show, the Head of the Independent Journalism Center in Romania, Ioana Avadani, will provide examples and recommendations on this subject.

By law, the Broadcasting Council (BC) has the obligation to monitor all channels with the status of national media service providers throughout the election campaign, but BC president Dragos Vicol claims that the BC does not have the resources necessary for this task. Nevertheless, the Court of Accounts discovered recently that the BC never used software it purchased 10 years ago for more than MDL 400,000.  Find out more in the Media Azi  show.

The President’s Office, the government, and Parliament continue to be the institutions which appear most often in Moldova 1 newscasts, according to the Independent Journalism Center’s most recent monitoring report. From August 31 to September 6, for example, the public broadcaster quoted President Dodon more than any other source.  Journalist Anastasia Nani and Teleradio-Moldova Company ombudsman Carmelia Albu tackled the way public television broadcasters cover topics of public interest on the Media Azi show.

A monitoring report drawn up by the Independent Journalism Center and the OSCE in April and June says that media on the right and left banks of the Dniester River covered this topic from different perspectives. On the Media Azi show, Journalist Dumitru Stoianov analyzes the researchers’ main conclusions and recommendations for journalists who cover the Transnistrian conflict.

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