Memorandum on the Freedom of the Press in the Period May 2023 – May 2024: Findings and Recommendations

The Independent Journalism Center, in collaboration with eight other non-governmental media organizations, highlights that from May 3, 2023, to May 3, 2024, the press in the Republic of Moldova continued to grapple with significant challenges. Concurrently, the signatory NGOs acknowledge that there were also some advancements noted during this period compared to previous years. These observations are outlined in the Memorandum on the Freedom of the Press  in the Republic of Moldova, released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, as designated by the UN General Assembly 31 years ago.

The Memorandum highlights that, according to the ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders, our country experienced a slight decline of 3 positions compared to the previous year, placing 31st out of 180 states evaluated in the World Press Freedom Index. At the same time, the Press Situation Index for 2023 in the Republic of Moldova (ISPM), annually released by the Center for Independent Journalism, indicates a departure from the severe categorization of the local press situation. However, ISPM continues to nuance the existence and perpetuation of several factors undermining the freedom of the local press.

The signatory organizations of the memorandum have emphasized that the lack of economic sustainability and obstruction of access to information have jeopardized press activities during the referenced period. At the same time, the authors have acknowledged the emergence of several laws necessary for the press, including the new Law on Access to Information and the Law on the Media Subsidy Fund.

The memorandum also highlights condemnable abuses against the press, perpetrated by certain political actors, especially at the regional and local levels. The authors have recalled the consistent tendency of some representatives of the administration in Gagauzia to undermine press freedom, as well as the political control over the regional public media service provider, which results in an editorial agenda avoiding critical topics concerning the autonomy authorities.

The signatory NGOs noted that the period from May 3, 2023, to May 3, 2024, was not spared from abusive and illegal practices by the separatist forces in Transnistria concerning journalists, recalling the detention and declaration of journalists as “undesirable” while they were carrying out their journalistic mission.

The memorandum contains a series of recommendations addressed to the authorities, which, if implemented, would contribute to encouraging and protecting press freedom. Among these: removing the GRT public provider from political influence and countering proven disinformation practices; ensuring transparency of media ownership and combating anti-competitive practices; preventing and sanctioning acts of threats and aggression against the media; refraining from rapid changes to legislation aimed at achieving doubtful temporary effects regarding ensuring the state’s informational security; training and professionalizing law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to digital threats against the press.


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