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Fifteen journalists know how to correctly apply for public information and to avoid defamation

28 October 2013
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Fifteen local and national journalists participated in a training course on October 25, 2013  offered by the Center for Independent Journalism (IJC) dedicated to the enforcement of legislation on defamation and access to information.

The course agenda included legal issues that guide a professional journalist in his/her work and practical elements like case studies. At the same time, participants learned to distinguish between facts and value judgments and how to express themselves within the law so they cannot be accused of defamation.

“Although we have a law on access to information, the submission forms of the information permanently evaluates and reporters need to know more about how to access and request public information. […] Defamation is a risk for reporters who do not have sufficient knowledge and adequate professional experience, but the exchange of ideas that we had during training brought to our attention the legal norms of journalism and a journalist's responsibilities”, said Alina Radu, director of the investigative newspaper Ziarul de Gardă.

Alina Cotoros, reporter at TV channel 2 Plus, declared that due to the knowledge gained from the course, she will be able to do her job more easily and professionally: “I have gained valuable information, and now I know exactly what to do, without any doubt, to obtain information of public interest”.

A similar training course for another group of journalists will take place in the spring of 2014. The training was part of the project "Improving the media law environment in Moldova" implemented by the IJC with financial support from Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden.

In addition to training, the IJC project also includes a study to diagnose the openness of public institutions to providing access to information and the challenges journalists face in obtaining access  to public data. The analysis proposes viable solutions to optimize communication between mass media outlets and the institutions responsible for ensuring access to information of public interest.