Monthly Bulletin, April 2024


On the eve of International Press Freedom Day, which we mark on May 3rd, the Independent Journalism Center of Moldova called on the country’s journalistic community to participate in a flashmob organized in front of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau under the slogan “United for press freedom. Truth cannot be suppressed!”. The event displayed solidarity and resistance in the Moldovan media community to firmly reject the pressures exerted by Moscow on journalists and to highlight the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the free and independent press.



The Audiovisual Council announced in a press release on 1 April that Kantar Media will measure TV audiences in Moldova over the next five years. However, members of the commission that selected the institution responsible for measuring TV audiences say that it will take longer for Kantar Media to enter the market in Moldova, due to the much too high financial offer. Kantar Media has asked for 1.8 million euros per year to measure audience shares. Under these circumstances, the AC stressed that it will not require beneficiaries to conclude contracts with Kantar Media, nor to terminate contracts with the actual measurement company, TV MR MLD. TV managers say they will seek solutions to cover part of the costs.

Kantar Media is a TV audience measurement company that positions itself as a partner to “96 of the world’s top 100 advertisers” and offers PR and advertising, analytics, consulting, brand growth and audience measurement services, which it has brought to Moldova.



A new regulation on audiovisual content, aimed at ensuring “pluralistic and

fair information of the public” by linear and non-linear audiovisual media services will enter into force on 5 May 2024. The document was adopted by the Audiovisual Council and contains new provisions concerning “the coverage of cases of suicide or those relating to the broadcasting of information on states of emergency, siege and war, as well as detailed rules on respect for the rights of minors in audiovisual programs”.

The new rules prohibit audiovisual content with a negative impact on minors, including those that include personal data.

The document also defines the conditions for broadcasting of split-screen advertising on programs intended for the visually or hearing impaired, content prohibited for broadcast, as well as how to exercise the right of reply and rectification.


Promo-LEX Association’s monitoring data shows that social networks were still the main source of hate speech in 2023, said the organization’s hate speech prevention and combat analyst Irina Corobcenco in an interview published on the IJC Media Azi portal. In the months after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Promo-LEX Association identified 83 cases of hate speech that were viewed more than 10 million times. About 60% of the number of views were generated by just nine cases identified on TikTok.

Corobcenco says concrete action is needed to prevent the phenomenon.

In the context of Moldova’s accession negotiations with the European Union, the expert also says that the national authorities should ensure the implementation of European legislation in this field in Moldova.



According to the latest opinion poll conducted by iData, Moldovans trust influencers and traditional sources of information to different degrees.

When asked “How much trust do you have in the following institutions, organizations and groups of people?”, 47% of respondents said they have no or little trust in bloggers and vloggers, while 30% expressed medium, high or very high levels of trust. 17% of people responded that they do not know about bloggers and vloggers.

With reference to TikTok influencers, 52% of the survey participants said they had no or little trust in them, and another 26% said they had a medium, high or very high level of trust.

The survey was conducted between 18-24 March 2024 on a total sample of 1,131 respondents from 322 localities in all districts, municipalities of Chisinau, Balti and ATU Gagauzia.


Media Monitoring



The Audiovisual Council sanctioned TV Gagauzia and ATV at its meeting on 26 April for admitting disinformation, inciting hatred, cultivating extremism and disuniting society in their broadcasts. The fines, amounting to 60,000 lei (3000 euro) and 40,000 lei (2000 euro) respectively, were imposed following monitoring that revealed numerous violations of rules of conduct and legislation.

According to the initiator of the control, AC vice-president Aneta Gonta, “the report argues, through the methodology that evaluates cases of disinformation, that the materials met the definition of disinformation in the Audiovisual Media Services Code.”

A recent case study published on found that over the last few months the regional public television station in Gagauzia – Gagauziya Radio Televizionu (GRT) – has been the subject criticism from the media community for ethical lapses and a series of internal events in the Gagauz Autonomy.



At its meeting on 5 April, the AC examined a petition concerning an interview broadcast in February by journalist Adrian Prodan on his YouTube channel, in which the protection of a minor in a vulnerable situation was not guaranteed. A day earlier, on 28 March, on the same subject, the Press Council published a decision finding that Prodan had violated several provisions of the journalist’s code of ethics. The members of the Press Council recommended that the author remove the video from his YouTube channel.

Prodan was criticized for disclosing the minor’s name, location and family details. In addition, he allegedly relied on a single source without verifying the information presented.

The examination of a media product distributed on YouTube is a first for the Audiovisual Council, as the platform has been labelled a non-linear audiovisual media service.



The Press Council has found that vlogger Dorin Galben violated provisions of the Code of Ethics for Journalists on collection and treatment of information, verification of facts, protection of persons in vulnerable situations. This was after a complaint about one of his broadcasts on YouTube was examined at a meeting on 28 March.

The petition referred to material entitled “Monologue/Ex-husband locked her in the house and she managed to escape and tells of her ordeal”, published on the GALBEN YouTube channel on 25 January 2024.

In his response to the Press Council Secretariat’s notification, Dorin Galben stated that the videos in the monologue series are the personal accounts of the protagonists and are not investigated by the author.

In a press release, the Council says it discourages practices “whereby sensational facts are sought in order to attract an audience to the detriment of the rights of those directly involved or third parties”.

IJC Updates



Romanian language lessons have become more interesting with the introduction of elements of media education, say teachers and students who in the 2023-2024 school year participated in the Program on integrating media education content within the Romanian language subject in grade six. On 23 April, 20 teachers from 11 schools where the initiative was tested shared their experiences during a summing-up activity. IJC Executive Director Nadine Gogu told the participants that integrating media education into core subjects aims to increase critical thinking in society. During the event, guided by experts Natalia Griu and Arminas Varanauskas, the participants shared their own methods they use to help students develop their media skills in Romanian language lessons.

It should be noted that in the second year of the project, the program will be piloted at the secondary school level, in the 10th grade, in English.

The training program is part of the project “Strengthening Media Education Skills in the Republic of Moldova”, implemented by the IJC and the Ministry of Education and Research, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Moldova’s first media literacy series, “Alone at Home”, created by the Media Center for Youth and Abraziv teams, is an educational comedy for the digital generation. The 10 episodes are available on YouTube and serve as a teaching aid for the optional subject of Media Literacy in schools.

“The series follows the adventures of the Munteanu siblings, Vadim and Mihaela, who are alone at home while their mother is abroad. The two, together with their friends, learn to overcome certain problems and stereotypes, make informed decisions and change their attitudes. The series offers solutions to the daily challenges faced by young people,” say the authors.

In 2022, the municipal puppet theatre “Guguta” in cooperation with the Independent Journalism Center and the Association “Talinka” launched the first media education play. The show is performed on stage in both Romanian and Russian, and since last year is also available in video format.



The Independent Journalism Center continues its collaboration with the

Municipal Puppet Theatre “Guguta”. In 2024 and 2025, the actors will go on a tour with the Russian-language version of, performed on the stage of the “Guguta” Theatre. Prior to the start of the tour, on 24 April, the IJC involved the actors in a media literacy training. Expert Natalia Griu, co-author of the Media Literacy manuals, challenged the creative team to identify the sources from which they get their information, urging them to analyze the quality of these sources. is adapted from the educational story “A Click of the Fangs or the Manipulative Wolf”, written by Latvian media researcher Solvita Denisa Liepniece, and is aimed at kindergarten and primary school children. The performance lasts 45 minutes and is included in the repertoire of the “Guguta” Theatre, in Romanian and Russian versions.

The training for the actors of the Municipal Puppet Theatre “Guguta” was organized by the Independent Journalism Center within the project “Media Education and Literacy and Optimization of Newsrooms (MELON)” with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chisinau.



40 young men and women from two higher education institutions—Free International University of Moldova (ULIM) and the State Pedagogical University “Ion Creanga” in Chisinau (UPSC)—in their first, second and third of studies, participated in a media education workshop organized by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on April 25, 2024. The aim of the activity was to help young people to be better informed and equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize falsehoods in the media and on social networks.

According to IJC program coordinator Victoria Tataru, the IJC’s advice to young people is to be as vigilant as possible when it comes to choosing the source from which to get information. Trainer Ana Sirbu gave young people more arguments to make them understand why it is necessary nowadays to be well-informed and protected media consumers.

The media literacy workshop was organized within the project “Promoting Social Cohesion in Moldova by Fostering Inclusion and Diminishing Discrimination”, carried out by the Independent Journalism Centre in the framework of the program “Joint Equal Opportunities Initiative – Phase II”, implemented with the support of the Government of Switzerland.



More than half of the Russian-language TV news bulletins and the news published on the online platform of Gagauziya Radio Televizionu (GRT) featured the Bashkan Yevgenia Gutul as the main character, according to a case study conducted by the Independent Journalism Center of Moldova. At the same time, news about central authorities (government, parliament, presidency) is often negative, while local events and regional authorities are almost always in a positive light. The findings were made after monitoring TV news bulletins and news published online in Russian from 18 to 22 March 2024.

The author of the study, researcher Victor Gotisan, lists among GRT’s frequent ethical deviations the lack of right of reply, generalizations, and biased selection of facts.

The case study was made possible by the generous support of the American and British people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK. The content is the responsibility of the Independent Journalism Center and does not necessarily reflect the views of UK, USAID or the United States Government.



Independent journalists in Gagauzia have become accustomed to pressure from the autonomy’s authorities, but with the installation of Yevgenia Gutul as Bashkan, the situation has worsened, writes freelance journalist Petru Garciu in a commentary for the Media Azi portal. According to him, media representatives in the region are facing restrictions on access to information by local public authorities and even interference by local politicians in editorial policy. The author also says that the Gagauz autonomy’s public broadcaster GRT has been turned into a tool for influencing voters in election campaigns. In such circumstances, Petru Garciu notes, journalists do not feel the most important element in their work – freedom. In conclusion, he notes that being an independent journalist in Gagauzia is like swimming against the current. For the sake of informing the population, you risk your health, your reputation. Many young journalists cannot resist such pressure and leave.

The production of this material was made possible by the generous support of the American and British people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK. The content is the responsibility of the Independent Journalism Center and does not necessarily reflect the views of UK, USAID or the United States Government.



According to Renata Lupacescu, editor-in-chief of Studio-L regional television in Causeni, from the very first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Moldovan press has been a factor in the inclusion of refugees. Two Studio-L film crews worked daily in the field to present the harrowing stories of refugees. The TV station broadcast more than 60 human stories in the first month of the war, some of them live, right from customs. The broadcasts were subtitled in Russian, and every Ukrainian citizen was given information assistance.

In her commentary piece for Media Azi, Lupacescu writes that an important moment for better understanding refugee issues was the fact that the local station Studio-La hired a Ukrainian director and cameraman during this period. According to the author, a diverse newsroom that includes journalists from Ukraine can provide a broader perspective on the situation in the country.

The material is published in the framework of the project “Promoting Social Cohesion in Moldova by Fostering Inclusion and Diminishing Discrimination” carried out by the Independent Journalism Center in the framework of the program “Joint Equal Opportunities Initiative – Phase II”, implemented with the support of the Government of Switzerland.



IJC and Internews Updates


Eighteen secondary school teachers, including 16 female teachers and two male teachers, developed their media skills during a training on Media Literacy conducted by the Independent Journalism Centre (IJC) on 12-14 April 2024 in Chisinau.

During the activity, trainers Loretta Handrabura and Natalia Griu focused on the quality and diversity of information, the importance of pluralism of opinion, the development of critical thinking through news analysis, awareness of how headlines, images and news content influence people’s perceptions. Particular attention was paid to ethical behavior in cyberspace.

Teachers were encouraged to access the Media Literacy Portfolio, where several tools developed by the IJC are concentrated, such as tutorials, videos and the cuMINTE Podcast, which can be used in Media Literacy lessons.



Another 17 high school teachers developed their media literacy skills during a media literacy training organized by the IJC from 19 to 21 April 2024 in Chisinau. The trainers of the course were Loretta Handrabura and Natalia Griu, authors of the curriculum and manual Media Literacy, 10th/11th grades.

Mariana Tabuncic, program manager at the IJC, mentioned the objectives of the IJC in the field of media education and encouraged the participants to consider the opportunity to teach the subject Media Literacy starting with the new school year. Oxana Iutes, Country Director Internews in Moldova, highlighted the important role of media education in developing a critically thinking society.

Topics covered included the quality and diversity of information, developing

critical thinking through news analysis, and awareness of how the media influences people’s perceptions. Special emphasis was placed on identifying and combating fake news, viral content and forms of manipulation and misinformation online.

Both trainings are part of the USAID and UK funded project “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) and implemented by Internews in Moldova, which aims to promote the development of an independent, professional media, and to create a media sector that is more resilient to political and financial pressures.



From the school year 2024-2025, secondary school pupils will study the optional subject Media Literacy from a new textbook. Its content has been updated by the Independent Journalism Center to keep up with new changes and developments in the field. The authors of the textbook are experts Dr Loretta Handrabura and Natalia Griu.

The IJC will offer the updated manuals free of charge to teachers who teach Media Literacy.

Media Literacy is included in the Framework Program of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova at all three levels of education – primary, secondary and high school. In the coming months, the IJC will also update the secondary school textbook in Romanian and Russian.

The manual was updated as part of the project “Media Literacy Advancement and Support to Moldovan Media”, supported by Sweden and implemented by Internews in Moldova. The program aims to contribute to the growth of a diverse media sector.


Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard