Monthly Bulletin, December 2021

(Video) How was 2021 for journalists in Moldova

The Independent Journalism Center (IJC) reviewed in a video retrospective the memorable moments of the year for journalists in the Republic of Moldova.

In 2021, the press was confronted with poor communication from the authorities and restricted access to information. This was manifested by health officials, who often refused requests for information and questions during press conferences. Similarly, media representatives were verbally attacked both in the field and on air. There were also surprise withdrawals of journalists from some TV stations.

The crisis also extended to access to vaccines. However, earlier this year, the Journalists’ Crisis Cell succeeded in convincing the health authorities of the need to immunize journalists as a priority.

In terms of access to information, the Moldsilva company was also noted for banning the press from filming the felling of trees in forests without forestry specialists present. A more complicated situation was also found for journalists trying to cover events in the Transnistrian region – they were forbidden to take pictures in areas near the Dniester.

The film “Moldova’s Press in 2021” was presented at the 27th edition of the Journalists of the Year Gala, organized by the IJC and the Press Freedom Committee, which took place on 16 December in Chisinau.

Republic of Moldova improved its score in the Human Freedom Index, 2021 edition

Moldova ranked 61st in the Human Freedom Index, 2021 edition, out of 164 countries monitored, which is up three places from last year. This year’s edition covers 2019 data. The report was released by the Washington-based think tank Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute in Canada.

The index measures the degree of individual and economic freedoms and is formed based on 82 indicators grouped into 12 categories on a scale of 0 to 10 points. One of the categories measured relates to freedom of expression and freedom of information, which are assessed based on eight indicators. The Republic of Moldova scored an average of 7.5 points in this category. The highest scores (10 points each) were awarded for journalists killed and journalists arrested, and the lowest – for academic and cultural freedom of expression (5 points). Low scores were given for freedom of the press (5.6) and freedom of expression (6.8), self-censorship in the press (6.3) and harassment of journalists (6.4), and better scores for government censorship (8.1) and Internet censorship (9.4).

The index was first conducted in 2008, when our country ranked 84th. Since then, Moldova has risen 23 places. The worst situation was recorded in 2009 (91st place).

Parliament has appointed the new Broadcasting Council

Parliament appointed the new Broadcasting Council (BC) by a December 3 decision. The decision was supported by 86 MEPs. Ruslan Mihalevschi, Liliana Vitu-Eșanu, Larisa Turea, Orest Dabija, Tatiana Crestenco, Ana Gonța and Eugeniu Ribca are to serve a single six-year term.

Journalist Ruslan Mihalevschi was nominated by the President of the country and journalist and communications expert Liliana Vitu-Eșanu was nominated by the Government. Writer Larisa Turea and Orest Dabija from the Culture Ministry were nominated by the Action and Solidarity Party. Tatiana Crestenco, head of the office of Deputy Speaker Vlad Batrancea and former employee of the People’s Advocate Office, was proposed by the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS) faction. Media experts Aneta Gonta and Eugeniu Ribca were put forward by civil society.

The former composition of the BC was dismissed on November 11, after Parliament rejected the authority’s activity report for 2020.

Igor Grosu on how BC should fight propaganda

Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu says the government is counting on the new composition of the Broadcasting Council (BC) to combat propaganda and disinformation from the Russian Federation, as well as domestic propaganda. The statement was made on the TVR Moldova TV channel’s “Today’s View” program on December 8. Igor Grosu encouraged the BC to apply all legal levers in the fight against disinformation. “We must have a functioning institution, people with character, who say: yes, this is propaganda, this promotes hatred, this promotes conflict between countries,” Grosu said.

In December 2020, the parliament annulled the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Code that allowed the retransmission of news and military broadcasts only from countries that have ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, the US and Canada. Thus, broadcasts from the Russian Federation, which for a time were banned from broadcasting in the country, have returned to Moldovan small screens. The Russian Federation is among the countries that have signed but not ratified the convention.

One year on, the IJC has monitored and analyzed such content, broadcast between November 1 – November 10 on Primul in Moldova/Первый канал, NTV Moldova/HTB and RTR Moldova/Россия – РТР, which broadcast news and programs from the Russian Federation on a massive scale. The assessment found that the messages in the monitored content “propagandize in favor of the Russian Federation” and “undermine Moldova’s information security.”

Russian Foreign Ministry on IJC study on pro-Russian propaganda on some TV channels: ‘A politicized report’. The Center’s reaction

Representatives of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation have criticized the case study on propaganda on some TV stations in Moldova, released by the Independent Journalism Center at the end of November.

Moscow Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova told the weekly briefing on December 9 that the IJC report “was not overlooked” by the Kremlin authorities. “The so-called IJC has produced a truly politicized report. The aim was to discredit Russian channels, to label as ‘propaganda’ the views presented, views that differ from the views that the IJC believes to be correct or incorrect. I think we cannot rule out that this paves the way for the imposition of the ban on Russian programs, which existed from February 2018 until December 2020,” Zaharova said.

In response, Anastasia Nani, deputy director of the IJC, said the NGO monitors several media outlets, regardless of their origin. “The IJC has been monitoring the content published or broadcast by media outlets operating in Moldova for many years. Whether it is media products made in the Russian Federation, retransmitted by TV stations in Chisinau, or content created in the Republic of Moldova, we report cases where journalistic materials do not meet quality standards, manipulate, or distort reality,” said Anastasia Nani.

Problems and solutions on access to information discussed one year after the entry into force of the Tromsø Convention

The authorities are urged to provide the press with access to databases of public interest information as quickly as possible, and the government needs to significantly improve communication with the media, said participants at the round table “Ensuring access to information for journalists in Moldova – challenges and new opportunities,” organized by the Council of Europe (CoE) office in Chisinau. The event took place on December 10, one year after the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents (Tromsø Convention).

The editor of the weekly Ziarul de Garda, Alina Radu, referred in her speech to the problematic communication between the representatives of the Executive and the journalistic profession. “The governments that the Republic of Moldova has had until now and this one, the current one, have problems of communication and understanding the needs of the media in terms of communication,” she said.

Nadine Gogu, executive director of the IJC, also noted that the issue of access to information for journalists is “an old one, but very topical.” “We at the IJC have been looking at this issue for years. (…) We organize training for journalists and civil servants. We offer assistance to journalists because we have also had cases where we have gone to the courts to ask for information that should have been provided by officials and they did not do it,” Nadine Gogu explained. The IJC executive director urged journalists to use the levers to sanction officials who do not respond properly to requests for information: “I understand that some people may not like it, but if we leave it at that, just to discuss and note certain problems, they remain unchanged afterwards.”

“It is very important that we have independent media, but also that we have guaranteed access to official documents to inform the public and to carry out journalistic investigations,” said William Massolin, head of the CoE office in Chisinau, during the same discussion.

Access to Information Index “alarming:” “Shows significant deficiencies and shortcomings on all dimensions of transparency”

The low level of transparency of public institutions and the reluctance to provide financial information are some of the problems reported in the research “Access to Information Index: measuring transparency of public institutions in the Republic of Moldova.” The study was launched on November 29 and contains several recommendations on the subject, including the adoption of a new law on access to information.

The research, carried out by Freedom House in Moldova jointly with Internews in Moldova, measured transparency from three perspectives: the quality of the access to information legislative framework, how proactive public institutions are in ensuring transparency and the openness of public authorities to requests for information.

After analyzing the Law on Access to Information, the websites of 50 public institutions and sending several requests for information, the authors obtained an access to information index of 46 points for 2021, out of a possible 100 points.

Among the shortcomings identified were the lack of an institution with a clear mandate to ensure transparency in public institutions; the lack of detailed legislative provisions on proactive transparency, demonstrated by a small number of valuable information on the institutions’ websites, especially financial, asset, salary, and procurement information; errors in the interpretation of legislation by officials when responding to information requests, etc.

Questionnaire // Top three difficulties journalists face in accessing official databases

The IJC conducted a Questionnaire in which 19 journalists were asked to list the top three difficulties faced by newsrooms in accessing state-run databases. Their responses cited insufficient or outdated information (9 responses), high access costs (7 mentions) and limited access to certain categories of data available online (4 mentions), including lack of details about a company’s history.

The requirement to register as a personal data controller, red tape and insufficient database search tools were also listed as difficulties.

Interviewees also mentioned databases that are currently inaccessible but should become public or accessible to journalists. Mentioned most often were the Cadastre database, including the possibility to search for the necessary information by name, surname, IDNO, not just by address (10 mentions) and access to driver and transport registers (8 responses). Also mentioned was the need to have access to the register of legal entities, including joint stock companies (6 mentions) and access to company history (5 mentions).

Other requests suggested by journalists included access to tax data, border crossings, access to the original list of political party donors and access to the archive of court decisions.

Andrei Spinu: Transition to digital terrestrial TV to be completed by  January 1, 2022



The transition to digital terrestrial television in the Republic of Moldova could end on January 1, 2022 with the switch-off of analogue TV. The provision is contained in a draft law approved by a government decision at the December 14 meeting. “The draft aims to help increase the number of digital TV channels that can be received free over the air. The transition process to digital terrestrial television will end on January 1, 2022, with the cessation of analogue terrestrial television,” Andrei Spinu, deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure and regional development, told the executive meeting.

According to him, the draft also provides for the possibility for private TV stations to receive state aid for broadcasting programs of social importance with educational, cultural, and scientific themes. Also, several TV stations will be able to broadcast their programs via Multiplex A, with national coverage (about 97 percent of the territory and population), following the reduction of the tariff for broadcasting services provided by the provider of this Multiplex.

Spinu says that the government has recently purchased digital signal reception devices, which have been allocated to socially vulnerable families, and this practice will continue in the coming years.

Digital TV signal prices could rise in 2022

The draft law providing for new mechanisms for granting state aid to private audiovisual media service providers who want to broadcast in the digital multiplex system has sparked a wave of criticism among media experts and representatives of Teleradio-Moldova (TRM).

During the debate, Vitalie Boboc, deputy head of the Communications Infrastructure Directorate of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (MEI), informed that the project “plans to grant state aid to the State Radiocommunications Enterprise for the whole of 2022, in the amount of 25 million lei. Part of this amount is provided by the MEI – 13.5 million lei, but the rest is to be redistributed from the amount provided for TRM.

For his part, the director general of Radiocommunications, Mihai Iacob, explained that with the discontinuation of the analogue signal, which covers current expenses, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure and broadcasting the digital signal will inevitably increase. “The cost of supplying the Multiplex, whether it’s one TV station or 18 TV stations, is 3.2 million lei per month. Once you push the button and go on air with the Multiplex with national coverage, it already has those expenses,” said Mihai Iacob.

Some media experts disagree with officials. The executive director of the Electronic Press Association (APEL), Ion Bunduchi, says he did not fully understand the reasoning behind the draft, which he thinks should be called “project on state aid for Radiocommunications.”

The executive director of the Independent Press Association (API), Petru Macovei, described the bill as “a dangerous one” because “it looks like a scheme about how to take 25 million lei from TRM and give it to Radiocommunications.”

The director general of TRM, Vlad Turcanu, also agreed with this view, expressing annoyance at the proposals to redirect the budget of the national public media service provider to Radiocommunications.

Media literacy dynamics as seen by experts and legislators from Latvia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine

Experts and parliamentarians from Latvia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine shared their experience of the media literacy process in these countries and discussed key issues affecting the field. The discussions took place in the context of the launch of the study “Comprehensive Approach and Advancing Media Literacy in Georgia, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine” on December 10 by the Baltic Center for Media Excellence.

The IJC is CBEM’s partner in this project.

At the conference, researcher Solvita Denisa-Liepniece from the Baltic Center for Media Excellence, co-author of the study, spoke about the most important findings of the project. In her opinion, media literacy needs to be introduced into the formal learning process.

Arvils Ašerādens, Chairman of the Latvian Parliament’s Committee on Education, Culture and Science, presented research data showing changes in information consumer behavior. Society’s demand for the quality of information provided has increased and in this context the role of media literacy has also increased.

Her counterpart in the Georgian parliament, the chair of the Education and Science Committee, Shalva Papuashvili, spoke about the importance of digital literacy on the one hand, and media literacy for those who create media content, including in terms of ethics, on the other.

Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, head of the parliamentary committee for media in Moldova, said that one of the major problems in implementing media literacy is to provide this course in all educational institutions in the country, including among ethnic minorities.

And their colleague in the Ukrainian legislature, Mikita Poturaiev, chair of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, called for the introduction of media literacy in pre-school education.

It is recalled that the challenges of media literacy in the Republic of Moldova have been previously analysed in the study “Comprehensive approach and advancement of media literacy in Moldova.” The author of the research, Angela Vacaru, argued then that it is necessary to identify an institution responsible for the field of media literacy, as well as to take over good practices from countries with a similar profile to Moldova.

Liliana Vitu-Esanu was elected President of the Broadcasting Council and Aneta Gonta – Vice-president

Liliana Vitu-Esanu has been elected president of the Broadcasting Council (BC), while Aneta Gonta has been elected vice-president. The election of the Board’s leadership took place by secret ballot at the meeting on December 16. Both candidates were voted unanimously.

At the meeting, Liliana Vitu-Esanu said, among other things, that she wanted the BC to restore public confidence by applying the Audiovisual Media Services Code in a fair manner and to protect the information space. “I would see the BC to position itself as a partner of media institutions,” she said.

Aneta Gonta said she would draw attention to the institution’s management so that the BC would be the guarantor of the public interest in the audiovisual sector. “For me, media education is important (…) and here I am counting on that article in the Code – cooperation with civil society, which has great potential. I would also bet on cooperation with the academic world, I think it is important to involve it in media education,” said Gonta.

Liliana Vitu-Esanu has been nominated for the position of member of the BC by the Government, and Aneta Gonta by civil society organizations.

The president and vice-president of the BC can be dismissed by secret ballot on the proposal of three members and with the vote of at least five members of the Broadcasting Council.

Vlad Turcanu is the new director general of Teleradio-Moldova

Journalist and former politician Vlad Turcanu has been appointed, by a December 3 decision of the Parliament, to the position of director general of the national public broadcaster TRM. Fifty-eight MPs (57 from the parliamentary faction of the Action and Solidarity Party and one vote from the Bloc of Communists and Socialists – Adela Raileanu) voted in favor of approving the nomination. Nine MPs voted against it.

Vlad Turcanu was proposed to Parliament for appointment as Director General of TRM by six of the seven members of the Supervisory and Development Council (SDC) at its first meeting on November 29. According to SDC secretary Sergiu Stanciu, Vlad Turcanu’s candidacy came from the chair of the board, Arcadie Gherasim. The latter worked for a time as editor-in-chief of the ruling Action and Solidarity Party’s newspaper “A PAS for Moldova.”

His appointment comes in the context of changes to the Audiovisual Media Services Code which saw the dismissal of the previous management of TRM and the election of a new Supervisory and Development Council.

The Director General of TRM is appointed by Parliament on the proposal of the SDC for a seven-year non-renewable term.

Corneliu Durnescu will lead the public television channel Moldova 1

Journalist and TV producer Corneliu Durnescu has been appointed deputy director of TRM and in charge of the public broadcaster. TRM general director Vlad Turcanu presented his candidacy to the Supervisory and Development Council (SDC) on Monday, December 13.

Corneliu Durnescu has worked at Radio Moldova, Jurnal TV and has produced television projects such as Prime TV’s Star Factory. In recent years, he worked as a producer at Radio Free Europe. He assured SDC members, “I hope that in two weeks you will already see some results. I know how to make television. I have done it. It’s a challenge for me too,” Durnescu said.

In this context, SDC member Irina Matenco criticized the performance of journalists covering economic topics and recommended the new director of the public broadcaster to attract young journalists from university. And their colleague Loretta Handrabura called for national TV to use the feminine forms attested in Romanian dictionaries.

Journalist Victoria Coroban was appointed director of the public broadcaster Radio Moldova

Journalist Victoria Coroban has been appointed director of the public broadcaster Radio Moldova, according to She told the Radio Actuality editorial office that her number one priority in her new position will be to change the station’s broadcasting schedule. The new director promised that she will produce a new grid concept soon, “which will meet the needs of the 21st century.”

Previously, Victoria Coroban was the producer of several shows on Radio Chisinau, including “With an Open Mind,” “Coffee Break” and the podcast “That’s the Situation;” she was a trainer at the Nicolae Dumitrescu Academy and worked as a journalist at OWH Studio.

Victoria Coroban graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences at the University of Bucharest.

Two percent law. Higher revenues in 2021 for some media institutions founded by NGOs

The 2021 was the fifth year in which individual taxpayers in the Republic of Moldova were entitled to redirect two percent of their income tax to a non-commercial organization or religious entity.

According to data from the State Tax Service (STS), the largest amount, 46,792 lei, went to the V.I.P Association of Independent Telejournalists of the Republic of Moldova. The beneficiary of the amount is Reporter de Garda, a project of the association partner of the Ziarul de Garda publication.

The list is followed by the Logos Public Association, founder of the online religious radio station Radio Logos (40,280 lei). Among media institutions, RISE Moldova (Association of Investigative Reporters and Editorial Security of Moldova) follows with 29,440 lei or four times more than last year, as well as TV8 (Association of Alternative Media), which collected 23,964 lei or about twice as much as last year.

Other beneficiaries include the Independent Press Association (11,683 lei), the Association Center for Investigative Journalism (6,873 lei), the IJC (6. 599 lei), the Youth Media Center (4,785 lei), Piligrim-Demo from Comrat, founder of the portal (3,232 lei), the Electronic Press Association (2,723 lei), the Association of Environmental Journalists and Environmental Tourism (1,103 lei).

ZdG editorial office opened an exhibition dedicated to the fight against corruption in Moldova

On International Anti-Corruption Day, the editorial staff of Ziarul de Garda launched a thematic exhibition entitled “Corruption in the Republic of Moldova. 30 years of struggle” at the National History Museum.

According to the editorial office, the exhibition contains documents, photos, testimonies of people “who have tried with small steps to bring to light, year after year, revelations of corruption, but also discussions about transparency, respect for fundamental rights and access to information.”

Activists, journalists, members of parliament, members of the government, members of law enforcement agencies and representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Chisinau were invited to the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition, which lasted two weeks, was designed as a space for reflection and information for all categories of the country’s population.

Moldova 1 started a new program with the participation of the TRM Ombudsman

The public TV channel Moldova 1 launched a new show called “OMBUDSMAN@TRM.MD,” moderated by the Audience Ombudsman of TRM, Carmelia Albu. The producers aim to analyze the rules of the journalist’s code of ethics and discuss its shortcomings with the guests.

In the first edition on 8 December, the studio guests – Ludmila Andronic, communications expert and member of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Strengthening Media Resilience, Petru Macovei, executive director of the Independent Press Association, and journalist Oxana Mititelu, editor of Moldova 1 – discussed the principles of media self-regulation, the role of the Ombudsman, the performance of public television and other topics.

The new program with the Ombudsman will be broadcast monthly.

Media Legislation

Public consultations in Parliament on the draft law on advertising

Dropping the proposal to ban out-of-home advertising and defining the notion of a sales house are among the proposals expressed by representatives of the TV and advertising industry during public consultations on December 17 organized by the Parliamentary Committee on Economy, Budget, and Finance. The draft law on advertising was voted in first reading on 11 November.

During the consultations, Yevgeny Sergheev, general director of RTR Moldova, noted that in the audiovisual advertising market in Moldova “the biggest problem is dominance and cartel agreements.” However, according to him, the notion of sales house is not included in the Law on Advertising.

Sergeev also pointed out that some notions and definitions in the law are not correlated.

In reply, Eugeniu Ribca, co-author of the legislative initiative and recently a member of the Broadcasting Council, said that there are no inconsistencies in the Audiovisual Media Services Code regarding concepts which are taken from a European Union directive. The media expert recalled that he had previously drafted another bill which referred to giving the Competition Council powers to assess the media advertising market. “I would like to see this bill come back to parliamentarians,” Ribca proposed.

Victor Baciu, representing the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova, advocated drafting the article banning penetrating (external) advertising. “We would like to have clarity here, at least from the perspective of the companies we represent,” Baciu added.

According to the chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Economy, Budget, and Finance, Dumitru Alaiba, the draft could be finalized towards the end of January. “What we can promise is that we will do our best to reconcile everyone, so that we can have a regulation that is as qualitative as possible, focused on citizens and entrepreneurs,” concluded Dumitru Alaiba.

The draft law on advertising was originally drafted by experts from the IJC and was voted on in first reading. The document was later withdrawn and Dumitru Alaiba registered a new draft law based on the old one. The latest version of the draft was voted in Parliament in early November.

Media Monitoring

BC fined three TV stations for sound level gap between broadcast programs

The Broadcasting Council (BC) has fined Tezaur TV, Prime TV and TVR Moldova 5,000 lei each for exceeding the allowed sound level during broadcasting of audiovisual programs. The sanctions were imposed at the meeting on 23 December.

Four TV stations – Tezaur TV, Prime TV, TV8 and TVR Moldova – were monitored over three consecutive days, one of which was over the weekend. Specialists from the BC’s profile directorate determined that during the reporting period, TV8 did not commit deviations, while TV channels Tezaur TV, Prime TV and TVR Moldova “committed deviations of loudness in audiovisual programs and audiovisual commercial communications.”

According to the Audiovisual Media Services Code, media service providers “are obliged to standardize the sound level of audiovisual programs with that used for broadcasting audiovisual commercial communications.”

Pro TV Chisinau and TVR Moldova sanctioned for their coverage of the Bacioi crime

At the meeting on December 23, the members of the BC examined the monitoring report of the main news bulletins of 13 TV stations – Moldova 1, Moldova 2, Publika TV, Prime TV, Primul in Moldova, TVR Moldova, TV6, Canal 2, Canal 3, TV8, NTV Moldova, Jurnal TV and Pro TV Chisinau.

The monitoring report states that on December 19, several TV stations reported the death of a man in which shots were fired. The TV stations Pro TV Moldova and TVR Chisinau broadcast the subject without blurring the images in question, mentioning only the fact that emotionally disturbing images were to be broadcast.

The majority of the CA members voted for fines of 12,000 lei (600 €) for Pro TV Chisinau and 10,000 (500 €) lei for TVR Moldova.

The sanctions were imposed for violating the CA decision on the classification of audiovisual programs for the protection of children in relation to the prohibition of broadcasting audiovisual productions, during the hours of 6:00-23:00, which show “repeated physical, mental or language violence.”

CA member Eugeniu Ribca proposed that the text of the decision should specify that media service providers must also respect audiovisual rules on TV websites. The initiative was supported by all members of the Board.

The representatives of the TV stations concerned were not physically present at the Board’s premises, did not intervene by phone and no reaction was presented by them during the meeting.

The Media Azi Show

Journalists have been asking for free access to several state-run databases for years, but the problem has not yet been solved. Recently, government representatives announced that the issue was back on the authorities’ agenda. A few weeks ago, the IJC sent requests for information to find out whether a draft law had been prepared. Pending an official response, the subject was discussed on Media Azi show with the director of the Public Services Agency, Mircea Eșanu.

How the current central authorities communicate with the media remains a problem for now. At least, this is the conclusion reached by several newsrooms that have complained to the IJC that government representatives are either not answering their questions or ignoring their requests for information, making journalists’ work more difficult. Why is it so important for the executive to communicate smoothly with the press and citizens? Communication expert Ludmila Andronic answers this question in a new edition of Media Azi.

And again, about free access to public databases. Although the new government says the issue is on the agenda, it is not clear at what stage the problem is being solved as such. The IJC tried to find out details of the drafting of the law, but without success. A request for information sent on October 26 went unanswered. In the meantime, legal experts suggest that the future mechanism for accessing this data needs careful thought. In the Media Azi program, they offer legal solutions to possible risks, so that a potential law would ensure the right of access to information on the one hand, and on the other, not violate the principles of personal data protection.

IJC Updates

Press Gala: IJC named best journalists of the year

The IJC and the Press Freedom Committee named the 2021 Journalists of the Year at the 27th Annual Press Club Gala, held on December 16 in a hybrid format.

This year’s Gala presented 10 awards in 6 categories as well as special prizes. In the Investigative category: TV, radio, print, online, two prizes were awarded to Victoria Borodin of Ziarul de Garda and CU SENS. Reporting category: TV, radio, print, online received three awards, which were won by Aliona Ciurca, Ziarul de Garda, Mia Bucataru, Oameni și Kilometri and Natalia Titova, NewsMaker. The best Talk-show/Debate (TV, radio, online) was declared by Elena Gutu, Marina Afanas, TVR Moldova’s Obiectiv Comun. Two awards went to the Longread category, won by NewsMaker and People and Kilometres. The award for Best Podcast went to journalist Mariana Tibuleac-Ciobanu and the award for Best Photography went to Mihail Calarasan, People and Kilometres.

The organizers also offered four Special Awards: the Hope of the Year, which went to journalist Andrei Bordian, Rezina in Obiectiv and journalist Iuliana Volcova, Bas TV; the Evolution of the Year, which went to and the Excellence Award, which went to journalist Aneta Grosu, editor-in-chief of Ziarul de Garda.

The organization of the event was made possible thanks to the financial support of the OSCE Mission to Moldova.

Awards for journalists who have been on the “ground of domestic violence”

Journalists Leanca Lasco-Rata from Moldova 1, Felicia Cretu and Daniela Cutu from the CU SENS media project, Natalia Munteanu from Gazeta de Chisinau, Mariana Ionel from the district newspaper “Patria mea” from Falesti and Iuliana Volcova from BAStv were awarded in the contest “Journalists on the field of domestic violence.” The award event took place on Friday, December 3, and was organized by the Women’s Rights Center (WRC) in partnership with the IJC Moldova and financial support from Sweden.

“We are glad that you have joined our community to fight domestic violence, because not everyone can do it,” Mariana Buruiana, executive director of WRC, addressed the journalists.

Lawyer Arina Turcan drew attention to the fact that our country is lagging behind on domestic violence.  “In this respect, journalists can help us, because people get most of their information from the press,” she said.

Mariana Tabuncic, program manager at the IJC, stressed that journalists play an important role in the field of domestic violence prevention, as they are often the ones who help shape public opinion through the topics they promote.

Participants in the competition attended a training on July 15-16 where they learned how to approach the subject from the perspective of solutions and educating society to say NO to violence. The journalists then had three months to put their knowledge into practice by documenting and producing at least one piece of journalism on domestic violence. Five pieces were awarded 8,000 lei (400 €) each and one piece was awarded 5,000 lei (250 €).

The training program and the competition for journalists were organized by the Women’s Rights Center in cooperation with the IJC and with the support of Sweden.

Online games and critical thinking. Should we integrate them into education process?

The cuMINTE podcast, produced by the IJC, tackles in its December edition a much-discussed topic not only in Moldova – that of online games and their impact on children’s personality. The guests of journalist Ana Sarbu, the producer of the podcast, are this time experts, psychologists, but also students studying or teachers who teach the optional subject of Media Education. The question they try to answer is: How can virtual games be integrated into the study process so that they contribute to the development of critical thinking?

Psychologist Dorina Vasilache warns of the consequences of excessive use of Internet games, which could lead to addiction, especially when children start sitting in front of gadgets from an early age.

To explore the benefits of online gaming, the programs’ producer spoke to Stas Khanin, a researcher and PhD from the University of Astana, Kazakhstan. He talks about a study he conducted on the subject – The Delphi Study – to help people who want to create a new game or who would use existing games to teach critical thinking.

In the same program, teachers who teach Media Education – Galina Sarbu from the Gymnasium in Branzenii Vechi, Telenesti district and Aliona Pulbere from the “Mihail Barca” High School in Milestii Mici commune, Ialoveni – talk about their experience of using online games in lessons. According to them, learning through games, besides motivating students, contributes to the development of critical thinking, promotes creativity.

Ina Grejdeanu, Director of Strategic Development at IJC, was also a guest on the show. She mentioned that the IJC is constantly trying to diversify its activities to promote media literacy and at one point opted for games as a new and interesting way to reach as many people as possible. “The first game was launched in 2016, when we were organizing the first Media Literacy Hackathon. Subsequently, we have repeated this beautiful experience and launched other games that have enjoyed success among students and teachers. You can find all the games on the media literacy platform,” says Ina Grejdeanu,

The cuMINTE podcast is produced by the IJC with the support of the Black Sea Trust, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Proactive disclosure standards, crucial to ensure transparency in times of crisis

At a time deeply marked by pandemic crisis, the press continues to hope more than ever for free access to reliable and verified information. While the current context increases the importance of full, accurate and timely information to the population on the policies and strategies adopted by the state, the lack of transparency of public authorities remains a problem constantly raised by journalists and civil society representatives.

The IJC recalls that the authorities’ approach to media policies, including respect for journalists’ right of access to information, has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the national response to the COVID-19 crisis.

In this regard, the IJC returns with a set of Standards for proactive information publication, applicable to the public authorities of the Republic of Moldova in order to streamline the process of accurately informing the population during a crisis, thus enabling, and encouraging the direct participation of citizens in the decisions they take.

The document was updated within the project “Improving the working conditions for journalists through advocacy campaigns and empowerment of authorities” carried out by the IJC with the financial support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) from June 2021 to February 2022.

IJC launched the National Media Audience Study

The IJC launched the National Media Audience Survey on December 23, which aimed to determine the share of users of media sources (TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, websites, social media), as well as to identify content preferences and usage habits of media sources. Data were collected from October 20 to November 20, 2021 on a sample of 1341 aged 18+ using the Day After Recall – (DAR) method, with a margin of error of ±two percent.

The Study reveals which are the most popular sources of information, frequency of use of the Internet and in particular social media, propensity to support independent media, attitudes towards advertising, etc.

What are the most popular sources of information for Moldovans

According to the IJC survey, 52 percent of respondents said they watched TV the day before the interview and 65 percent of them access the Internet every day. Respectively, 26 percent listened to the radio during the previous day, 18 percent of respondents read printed newspapers and nine percent regularly read at least one local magazine.

The most watched TV channels nationwide, according to the survey, are PRIME TV (22 percent), Moldova 1 (19 percent), Jurnal TV (18 percent), followed by NTV Moldova (17 percent) and Primul in Moldova (15 percent).

In the radio segment, at national level, Radio Plai (17 percent), Radio Moldova (17 percent) and Radio Noroc (16 percent) are at the top, followed by Hit Fm (14 percent), Jurnal FM (eight percent) and Kiss Fm (seven percent).

As for news websites, respondents most often access (21 percent), (20 percent), (19 percent), (16 percent) and (16 percent) at least once a week.

From print media, about 38 percent of newspaper readers named Makler and Комсомольская Правда. About 27-28 percent of readers know about Argumenty i Fakty and Ziarul de Garda.

The social network Facebook shows the highest share of daily users (54 percent), followed by Instagram (28 percent) and TikTok (21 percent).

How many Moldovans are willing to pay to support local media

In terms of willingness to financially support independent local media sources, only three percent of citizens say they are definitely ready to financially support independent local media and ten percent would be the share of potential supporters, the Nationwide Audience Survey data shows. Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) would definitely not financially support independent local media, and about a quarter (26 percent) would rather not. This brings the share of those who expressed reluctance to financially support local media to 73 percent. Fourteen percent of respondents did not wish to answer this question.

The survey also shows that most people who are inclined to support the press financially are in the center and south of the country – 18 percent in each area. In Chisinau, their share reaches 11 percent, and the fewest supporters are in the northern region – seven percent.

Share of respondents who dislike advertising exceeds those who like it

The proportion of citizens with a negative attitude towards advertising is about ten percent higher than the number who have a positive attitude towards advertising, data from the IJC’s National Audience Survey shows.

About a quarter of respondents say they have a very or somewhat positive attitude towards advertising (24 percent), of which seven percent say they have a very positive attitude and 17 percent – a somewhat positive attitude.

About a third of those surveyed say they have a somewhat or very negative attitude towards advertising (34 percent). Of these, 19 percent say they have a very negative attitude towards advertising and 16 percent – a somewhat negative attitude.

Twenty-five percent of respondents said they have a neutral attitude towards advertising. 16 percent of respondents do not pay attention to advertising in general, and two percent said they do not know or do not answer such questions.

The national survey on media audiences in Moldova was conducted by Magenta Consulting, commissioned by the IJC, as part of the project “Strengthening Media Sustainability in Moldova,” implemented by the IJC and funded by the US Department of State.

IJC and Internews Updates

The IJC has named the two winners who will carry out campaigns against disinformation and propaganda in the media in 2022

The IJC has announced the totals of the fifth grant competition to carry out campaigns against misinformation and propaganda in the media, carried out under the program “Media in Support of Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M).”

The two winners selected by the jury are: AO “COMUNITATEA PLUS,” which will carry out the campaign to promote critical thinking among consumers of information content in the online space: “Ei, what a talk” and AO “STUDIO CREATIV MEDIA,” which will produce the podcast interview series in Russian called “Podkast na dvoikh” (Podcast in two).

A total of six entries were submitted to the competition. Criteria for evaluating the projects included: implementation plan, practical offer, with well-defined deadlines for each part; suitable target audience, promotion plans and viability.

The jury included journalist Dumitru Lazur, the President of the Press Council, Viorica Zaharia and the Deputy Director of Internews in Moldova, Oxana Iuteș.

The grants for campaigns against misinformation and propaganda in the media are awarded by the IJC as a partner in the Media in Support of Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M) project, funded by USAID, UK and implemented by Internews in Moldova.


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