In 2022, the situation of the media in the Republic of Moldova was characterized by serious problems. Even though some improvement in the state of the press was noted compared with previous years, that progress was not stable according to the Index of the State of the Press in Moldova (ISPM) for 2022 launched by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on Tuesday, January 31.
This marks the seventh year of calculating this index to provide a diagnosis of the state of the media as a whole and to identify specific problems and key developments in the sector in Moldova. The state of the domestic press was assessed by 14 evaluators who found that media legislation was neither sufficient nor effective, that the press did not work under favorable economic conditions, and that journalists did not do their work in an absolutely safe environment.
Among other things, the report revealed that new issues caused by the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine had added to previous factors influencing the security of the press and of journalists.
The analysis found that although laws regulating media activity were amended/supplemented with new, necessary, and timely legal provisions, their flawed application was still a major problem, especially regarding access to information of public interest. The ISPM evaluators particularly emphasized that the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia continued to legalize provisions that contradicted national regulations and conventional standards.
The study also examined how tense political, social, and economic conditions in 2022 influenced the activity of the press.
ISPM methodology assesses seven indicators of media realities in Moldova:
- regulatory legal framework;
- political context;
- economic environment;
- professional environment;
- quality of journalism;
- information security from a media perspective;
- journalists’ safety.
This methodology provides an “X-ray” of the media as a whole and of each of these aspects individually and in addition identifies where interventions are required to improve conditions to allow the press to fulfil its commitments. Preparing this index on a yearly basis highlights progress or the lack thereof over time.
In addition, media expert Ion Bunduchi, the author of this report, provides a set of recommendations to improve the state of the press in Moldova.
This report is part of the project “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) funded by USAID and the UK and implemented by Internews in Moldova; it aims to promote the development of independent and professional media and to create a media sector more resistant to political and economic pressure.