Media NGOs condemn the inappropriate attitude of Minister of Health, Ala Nemerenco, towards the press and request that the health central authority ensures real transparency on the activity of public institutions and unrestricted access to public information for journalists and media institutions.
During the press conference of 12 July 2022, minister Ala Nemerenco reprimanded the reporters of Cu Sens (eng. Makes Sense) media outlet, stating that a question they had asked was not relevant and that, while the journalists insist that they are part of a media institution that makes sense, she believes the opposite is true (‘The question is not related to this topic, so while you claim you are part of an institution that makes sense, I believe the opposite is true.’).
In relation to exceeding the legal time frame for providing information, the minister mentioned the increased workload due to the refugee crisis, accusing the editorial staff of ‘pressuring the ministry’. (‘Besides this information, you know very well that you pressured the ministry, that we had to submit to you reports for 2 years of activity and I think that a delay of one or two days is not that serious. But if you believe that this is so important and a crime, that is your opinion’).
The Minister of Health made the inappropriate comment as a reply to the question whether the late denial of journalists’ access to shoot on the territory of the Vorniceni Clinic is a case of restricting media access to public information. A letter from the management of the healthcare facility under the Ministry of Health informed the reporters from Cu Sens that ‘there have been no changes since the last shooting’, therefore ‘it does not make sense to shoot again’.
Media NGOs highlight that the state shall guarantee the freedom of the press and the right of media representatives to access information, therefore no public servant can decide for journalists whether documenting matters of public interest is appropriate and whether shooting in public spaces and institutions ‘makes sense’.
The signatory organizations are indignant at the attitude of the Minister of Health and consider this is an inappropriate behavior for individuals in public positions, particularly for representatives of the executive power.
We call on the Minister of Health, Ala Nemerenco, to give up the inappropriate attitude towards the press and restrain, in the future, from any comment which may damage the professional reputation of the media.
In line with the aforementioned, several journalists report that the Ministry of Health is neglecting their right to access public information. Given the situation, we request that the ministry gives up these practices and processes the requests for access to information within the time frame laid down in the legislation.
Independent Journalism Center
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Association of Electronic Press