In 2023, compared to previous years, there was a slight improvement in the state of the press in the Republic of Moldova. However, the media situation in the country continues to be impacted by serious issues, according to the Index of the State of the Press in Moldova (ISPM) for 2023, released by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on Monday, February 5th.
This marks the eighth 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.
The report highlights, among other findings, that the media faced and still faces significant challenges in the economic sphere, informational security, and the political landscape.
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 study also sheds light on how the political, social, and economic contexts, marked by tension throughout 2023, have impacted the media’s functioning.
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.