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Media NGOs Concerned about the Attempts to Politicize the National Public Broadcaster

05 March 2015
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Media NGOs express concern about the attempts of the authorities to exercise political control over the national public broadcaster Teleradio Moldova (TRM) and the audiovisual regulatory body – the Coordinating Council for Broadcasting (CCB).

Thus, after an unjustified delay of over a year in electing new members of the Board of Observers (BO), which is TRM's autonomous governing body, Parliament elected four members of the Board on March 5 and the MPs going to resume the voting at a later date, to elect two more members of the Board. None of the 4 elected persons is a media expert with extensive experience in broadcasting and/or a person that is not politically affiliated. Clearly, they were voted as per an agreement between political leaders. It has been confirmed earlier by Valeriu Saharneanu, Deputy Chair of the Parliament's Committee for Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sports and Media, who was blunt in stating that the members of the Board were elected for their political loyalty.

Hence, the signatory organizations send a warning signal about possible political interference when electing the new members of the Board of Observers. According to national and European norms and standards, state authorities should not allow either politicization of these bodies or interference in their work. The Broadcasting Code expressly provides that the Coordinating Council for Broadcasting is an autonomous public entity, and the public broadcaster shall enjoy guaranteed editorial independence (Article 52). Media organizations have previously reported that the election of the members of the Board of Observers on political grounds would impact, first of all, the reform that is underway at TRM.

We urge the Parliament to refrain from such practices and ensure the proper functioning of these institutions, in the spirit of democratic principles and values, to which Moldova has committed by signing the EU Association Agreement.

Independent Journalism Center
Independent Press Association
Center for Journalistic Investigations
Acces-Info Center
Electronic Press Association
Committee for Press Freedom
Association of Independent TV Journalists