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NTV Moldova announced the BC that it gave up Russian newscasts, as well as informative and analytical programs

24 January 2022
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The administration of the television station NTV Moldova has announced the Broadcasting Council (BC) that it gave up three informative and analytical programs produced in Russia that are retransmitted in Moldova. This information was confirmed for Media Azi by the BC President Liliana Vițu. However, the station keeps broadcasting two of the three programs it claimed to have given up.
 
The head of the BC said that the administrators of NTV Moldova announced in a letter of December 20, 2021 that they were giving up a number of programs produced in Russia. “We received a notification, in which they said they were withdrawing three programs, two of which used to air during the weekends, and one during the week,” Liliana Vițu told us.
 
Specifically, NTV Moldova decided to exclude from its broadcasting schedule the informative programs Central Television [Tsentral’noye televideniye], which used to air on Saturday evening, and Summary of the Week with Irada Zeynalova [Itogi nedeli s Iradoy Zeynalovoy], which used to air on Sunday evening, as well as the daily newscast Today [Segodnya]. 
 
Having seen the schedule of the TV station, the Media Azi reporter found that, indeed, the Today newscast no longer appears on air. On the other hand, the programs Central Television and Summary of the Week still air on weekends at 19:00.
 
Liliana Vițu said that the BC did not check whether NTV complies with the new broadcasting schedule. According to her, no other television stations that retransmit content from Russia announced the BC about changes to their schedules.
 
Media Azi failed to get a response from the administration of NTV Moldova regarding the reasons that led them to exclude the above-mentioned programs. NTV Moldova producer Sergiu Strungaru asked us to send him the questions in writing, but we did not receive any answers by the time of the publication of this article. NTV Moldova administrator Ludmila Furculiță, who said she would respond to Media Azi request in writing, did not provide a comment on the topic.
 
In December 2020, the Parliament annulled the provisions of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services that allowed retransmission of informative, analytical, and military programs only from countries that have ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, the USA, and Canada. Thus, programs from Russia that for a while could not be rebroadcast in Moldova have returned to the local television scene. Russia is among the countries that have signed but not ratified this convention.
 
One year later, the Independent Journalism Center monitored and analyzed such content, broadcast between November 1 and 10 by the stations Primul în Moldova/Channel One [Pervyy kanal], NTV Moldova/NTV, and RTR Moldova/Russia-RTR [Rossiya-RTR], which massively rebroadcast news and programs from the Russian Federation. The case study showed that the messages in the monitored content “convey propaganda in favor of the Russian Federation”, “can certainly manipulate public opinion and can influence public behavior and attitudes”, and also “encroach on the information security of the Republic of Moldova”. The study was carried out by the media researcher Aneta Gonța before her appointment as a member of the BC.
 
The research did not go unnoticed by the Russian authorities. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the case study, and the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the research “politicized” and “provocative”. In response, the IJC said it regularly monitors the content of media outlets that “do not meet quality standards, manipulate or distort reality”.