Monthly Bulletin, June 2022


Thanks to the efforts of the IJC, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will continue to monitor the implementation of the Manole et al v. Moldova judgment

On June 10, the Committee of Ministers (CM) of the Council of Europe (CoE) decided to continue monitoring the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to ensure that they properly implement the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment in the case of Manole et al v. Moldova. Furthermore, the case has been moved from the standard monitoring procedure to the advanced monitoring procedure, these actions being a direct result of Communication 9.2. sent by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) to the CM at the end of 2021.

The IJC prepared a detailed study on the execution of this ECtHR judgment, finding that the amendments made to the content of the Audiovisual Media Services Code (AMSC) in autumn 2021 bring back into law mechanisms similar to those existing at the time of the violation. These mechanisms will prevent the closure of the supervision of the implementation of the judgment.

After the IJC’s findings reached the CM, the CoE body decided to continue examining the case in an advanced procedure, encouraging the authorities “to review the provisions of the AMSC to ensure that they provide clear guarantees for the genuine independence of the BC and irremovability of its members, as well as to exclude possible political control of Teleradio-Moldova (TRM).”

It should be recalled that in 2009, Moldova was condemned for violating Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECtHR), which guarantees the right to free expression. The violation persisted from 2001-2006 due to the interference of state authorities in TRM’s editorial policy.

The Manole et al v Moldova judgment had to wait more than twelve years for Moldova to comply with its obligation to submit to the CoE CM an appropriate Action Plan indicating the measures taken to avoid being put on the “doomed bench” again.

The IJC activities were carried out in the framework of the project “Facilitating the execution of ECtHR judgments in freedom of expression cases,” implemented with the financial support of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence (BCME). editor detained and suspected of war propaganda

Nikolai Kostirkin, editor of the news portal, which was previously blocked by the authorities, was detained by law enforcement officials on the morning of June 9 under suspicion of stirring up enmity and national division, reports the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS). They conducted searches at the suspect’s home.

According to an official statement issued by the PCCOCS, the investigation revealed that the suspect, under the state of emergency imposed in the context of the regional armed conflict in Ukraine, systematically published and disseminated propaganda justifying military aggression against Ukraine, as well as information and public speeches inciting hatred and war on the communication channels he managed and administered.

Prosecutors and officers searched the journalist’s home and seized objects and other items relevant to the case.

The source also states that action is to be taken to establish the entire circle of people who systematically spread biased and fabricated information among the public that instigates war.

Cristian Rizea forced by court to deny false information about journalist Mariana Rata

The politician Cristian Rizea, was forced by a June 22 decision of the Chisinau Centru District Court,”to deny the false and defamatory information, which harms the honor, dignity and professional reputation” of TV8 journalist Mariana Rata, according to The former Romanian MP, convicted of corruption, was also ordered to make a public apology for spreading false information and to pay moral damages in the amount of 1 leu.

The same court ordered Rizea to deny statements released in autumn 2021 on Instagram and his Youtube channel, and to delete old posts targeting the director of the “Black Box” and “Black Box PLUS” shows. Rizea is also to pay Mariana Rata legal costs of 776 lei. The judgment can be appealed to the Court of Appeal within 30 days.

Promo-LEX: Hate speech worse in the context of the war in Ukraine

In the first two months of the state of emergency in Moldova caused by the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, 83 cases of hate speech and incitement to discrimination or other forms of intolerance in the public space and in the media have been identified. Of these, 38 percent were identified in print and online media and 31% in mobile apps, according to the Promo-LEX report “Hate Speech and Incitement to Discrimination” released on June 15.

According to the cited source, during the monitored period (24 February – 24 April 2022) the number of hate speech reports increased, but no sanctions were recorded. The most common criterion for hate speech was nationality. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the wave of refugees, hate speech and incitement to discrimination or other forms of intolerance were directed against Ukrainians, including Ukrainian politicians, Ukrainian military members, refugees of different ethnicities, and by association, also against citizens of the United States of America and Romania, the report said.

At the same time, the LGBT community has been presented as one of the “causes” of the war, and the rhetoric of “traditional Orthodox values” has been repeated – two of the elements consistently used in hate speech over the past three years.

Among the main recommendations developed by Promo-LEX is that the Government should develop and implement an awareness and information campaign on preventing and combating war propaganda and hate speech. Moreover, the Press Council and media organizations should develop and adopt tools (guidelines or recommendations) to ensure that journalistic material is objective, does not amplify hate speech, and does not spread war propaganda.

International conference in Chisinau: Does Moldova need an information commissioner?

In the context of the drafting of a new law on access to information, the option of creating a specialized institution, such as an information commissioner, to ensure that the right to access to information is respected was discussed recently in Chisinau. The international conference “Effective implementation of the right to information: from a new law on access to information to institutional changes in the Republic of Moldova,” held in early June, was attended by European and local experts and representatives of several authorities. These included Helen Darbshire, Council of Europe, Dawid Sześciło, EU-Moldova Association Project, Dejan Milenković, University of Belgrade, Elona Hoxnaj, Office of the Commissioner for Information and Personal Data Protection of Albania, Liliana Rusu, Head of Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the Ministry of Justice, People’s Advocate Ceslav Panico, and Freedom House Representative in Moldova Tatiana Puiu. While some experts say the initiative is timely, others point out that the implementation of this goal is still a ways away.

Facebook removed a post by Chisinau Mayor Ion Ceban for using “hate speech”

The May 31 post by the mayor of Chisinau, Ion Ceban, which aimed to ban the march in support of the LGBT community in Chisinau, has been removed by the company Meta from the social media platform Facebook. Meta removed the post, because it violated the network’s policies on promoting “hate speech,” reports Radio Free Europe. This is the first known case of Meta removing a post of a Moldovan politician, the article said.

The removal of the mayor’s post was confirmed by a Meta spokeswoman: “We have removed this post for violating our anti-hate speech policy, namely because the post excludes a protected feature.”

The source notes that “protected characteristics” include age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or denomination, gender and sexual orientation. Facebook’s policies also prohibit the use of hate speech defined as a “direct attack on people” based on protected characteristics.

Victoria Coroban has resigned as director of Radio Moldova: The differences in vision between me and the director general are too great

Differing management visions and disagreements over some of the topics broadcast on the radio are said to be the reasons that led journalist Victoria Coroban to resign as director of the public broadcaster Radio Moldova after half a year on the job.

“The main problem is the great differences in the management visions in terms of managing teams we have with the general director, given the complicated working conditions there. I am a believer in communication, team cooperation, encouraging people, supporting them, giving them guidance. Here our perspectives are also different,” said Victoria Coroban.

The former deputy director-general believes that reforming public radio requires “a lot of fresh forces on the team, for whom the rules and principles of journalism are a matter of course,” as well as more of a “professional culture.” Coroban added, “Somewhere along the way this approach, these values of accuracy, balance, precision – the basic rules of journalism – have been lost.”

Asked by IJC’s Media Azi portal to comment on the journalist’s departure, TRM’s General Director Vlad Turcanu refused to give a reaction on the grounds that he did not want to discuss with the press “the internal debates we have at Teleradio-Moldova.”

“It is a priority to leave the Radio House.” TRM director general on plans to reform the company

Abandoning the Radio House building due to high maintenance costs is said to be among the options being considered by TRM management when it comes to reforming the institution. TRM Director General Vlad Turcanu spoke to members of the Supervisory and Development Board (SDB) half a year after taking office about the difficulties faced by the team and the solutions available to improve the situation.

Among the problems he found when he took office were the editorial policy of the media services, the fact that the institution “was politically manipulated,” and that the institution was “underfunded.”

With respect to infrastructure, he pointed out that both Mesager studios and other TV premises are in “unfit” conditions, even though a large part of the budget allocated by Parliament goes to the maintenance of the premises.

“In broadcasting, in the winter months, we pay 30,000 euros a month for maintenance. So it is a priority to leave the Radio House, to sell it or to give it to the state in order to optimize the premises, which should have been done at least two decades ago,” said Turcanu.

If the property were to be sold, the company would get around 15 million euros, money that could be allocated to development, says the TRM general director.

The same news bulletins on Primul in Moldova and NTV Moldova, as well as on two GMG stations. Media expert: “It’s an anomaly”



Recently, television stations Primul in Moldova and NTV Moldova have been broadcasting either simultaneously or at different times the same news bulletins presented by the same moderators. A similar situation can be seen on Publika TV and Prime TV. The channels’ representatives attribute this to a reduction in revenue.

On May 31, some Primul in Moldova journalists announced on social networks that the last news bulletin would be broadcast on that day.  At the same time, both on the official website of the channel and on social media pages, the last news bulletin is dated May 31.

According to the observations of Media Azi reporters, the news broadcasted later by Primul in Moldova is similar to that of NTV Moldova and is presented by the same moderators. although each channel kept its own logo, the microphone in the hands of the reporters was that of NTV Moldova in both cases.

Previously, a similar situation was observed at Prime TV and Publika TV. Both TV stations are still owned by former Democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc and managed by General Media Group Corp (GMG).

The Executive Director of the Electronic Press Association (APEL), Ion Bunduchi, believes that “in the whole good world this is an anomaly.” The expert believes that the primary aim of audiovisual legislation is to broaden pluralism in broadcasting. “Any attempt, knowingly or unknowingly, to restrict diversity/pluralism, in my opinion, goes against the spirit of the law,” he concluded.

When asked about the reasons for these decisions, the administrator of Primul in Moldova, Stanislav Vijga, told Media Azi that the TV station’s activity was endangered due to the effects of the regional crisis on the advertising market and that the station is restructuring in order to increase its own broadcasts.

GMG representatives also cited a reduction in advertising as the reason. “Due to the crisis in the regional advertising market and the decision of some companies to stop placing advertising in news programs, Publika TV has reduced the volume of original programming and is taking over news programs from other TV stations,” Ana Butnariuc, editor-in-chief of General Media Group, told Media Azi.

Press Council calls on journalists to respect human dignity, including that of the deceased

In a June 29 press release, the Press Council of Moldova draws the attention of media outlets to their responsibility to respect the right to privacy and human dignity, including in the case of deceased persons. The call comes in the context of a wave of news reports about the death of Russian performer Yuri Shatunov and his funeral.

Several news outlets have included in their news reports images taken by CCTV cameras showing the performer in a moment of extreme distress, shortly after his heart attack which was later discovered by doctors. Some media outlets continued to cover the story in a sensationalist manner in the following days, as they published unblurred images of the artist’s body.

According to the Press Council, broadcasting explicit images of a person in agony in no way respects the right to privacy and human dignity, and the publication of unblurred images of the body, when they do not serve the public interest, is an unacceptable journalistic practice.

Questionnaire Media Azi // Is the electronic signature an impediment to obtaining information of public interest?

The electronic signature is an impediment to accessing public information only “in some cases,” according to a questionnaire distributed by Media Azi portal to journalists in several newsrooms.

According to their answers, half of the respondents have an electronic signature (52 percent), of which six said they had never used it to sign requests for information. Some specified that they use it to sign tax returns, and others said they send requests by e-mail without a signature.

Some respondents mention that they do not have time to sign electronically. Among other reasons for not using e-signatures, seven respondents mentioned the cumbersome procedure for obtaining them, and four said they did not see the need for them. Another eight respondents replied that they use it as needed.

Of the respondents to the survey, 70 percent say that e-signatures are an impediment to accessing public information “in some cases.” On the other hand, seven journalists answered that they “never” used it, while one respondent ticked the option “all the time.”

In total, twenty-six representatives of media institutions from the editorial offices of Albasat TV, Radio Moldova, the Independent Press Association, the CU SENS media project, the Journalistic Investigation Centre and,, Jurnal TV,,,,, Europaliberă.org, Sor TV and Radio Soroca, Sănă,, TVR Moldova, Ziarul de Garda,,, and responded to the IJC questions.

CMC approved the draft decision providing for the use of the toponym “Chisinau” by Radio Chisinau

Radio Chisinau (Romania branch) will be able to use the toponym Chisinau in its name for the next ten years, writes The Chisinau Municipal Council (CMC) made this decision on June 14, after the same council had previously denied Radio Chisinau this right.

The source notes that the decision was taken by 26 votes out of 51. According to Radio Chisinau, 10 councilors from the DA Platform, 5 from the Action and Solidarity Party, 3 from the Liberal Party, as well as one each from the National Unity Party and the Democratic Party voted for the decision. Also four unaffiliated councilors and two from the Party of Socialists (PSRM) voted in favor of the decision. Conversely, fourteen PSRM councilors voted against it. Councilors from the Shor Party and the Communist Party were not present at the meeting.

Media Legislation

Parliament voted in final reading on amendments aimed at countering disinformation in broadcasting

On June 2, MPs voted in final reading on amendments to the audiovisual media services code that are aimed at countering disinformation. These amendments were adopted with 54 votes.

The amendments involve introducing into the law the notion of disinformation, which means “the intentional dissemination of false information created to harm a person, a social group, an organization, or the security of the state.” At the same time, the Code has been supplemented with provisions according to which media service providers shall not broadcast, and distributors shall not retransmit, programs with informational, news, military and political content produced in countries other than the Member States of the European Union, the United States of America, Canada and countries which have ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The only exceptions are films and entertainment programs which do not possess militaristic content.

The law also bans audiovisual programs which, regardless of their origin, justify wars of aggression, deny war crimes and crimes against humanity, or incite hatred. Additionally, at least 50 percent of broadcasts purchased abroad must originate or be produced in EU countries or countries that have ratified the convention.

The document also places restrictions on the broadcasting of commercial communications and provides for a range of penalties, including fines of up to 100,000 lei (€5,000) for TV and radio stations that spread disinformation.

A new law on access to information is being drafted. The need to change the law was discussed in Chisinau

A new draft law on access to information is being prepared, Justice Ministry representatives announced at the international conference “Effective implementation of the right to information: from a new law on access to information to institutional changes in Moldova.”

At the June 9 event, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Chisinau, Jānis Mažeiks, said, “The main challenges in terms of access to information are practically the same over the last 20 years – oligarchization, politicization of the media sector, outdated legislation, unwillingness of the authorities to provide access to information of public interest.”

Patrick Pennincks, head of the Council of Europe’s Information Society Department, believes that legislation in this sphere should be improved. “The media landscape has changed in the region over the last two decades, but especially over the last two months, and we have to deal with this changing environment,” he said.

Attending the conference, Justice Minister Sergiu Litvinenco stressed that the authorities’ intention was to simplify as much as possible the procedure for obtaining information of public interest and to ensure access to information for all, especially for the media.

In this context, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Veronica Mihailov-Moraru, said that a first draft of the new law on access to information has already been prepared, which includes aspects of compliance with the requirements of proactive transparency.  According to her, the document will be finalized in the autumn.

The Chairwoman of the parliamentary media committee, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, said MPs would support the ministry on the legislative side.

Ziarul de Garda Director Alina Radu mentioned some of the problems faced by investigative reporters. These include fees for access to databases, restrictions on access to information that is classified as a state secret, and delays in responding to requests for information.

Two PSRM MPs have challenged at the CC the legislative changes aimed at combating disinformation in broadcasting

On June 20, PSRM MPs Adela Raileanu and Grigore Novac filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court (CC) asking for the constitutionality of several recent amendments aimed at countering disinformation in the audiovisual sector to be reviewed. According to the two MPs, these amendments would also violate international human rights standards.

The Socialist MPs believe the law violates several provisions of the Constitution and the amendments “disproportionately” introduce rules to censor “uncomfortable” information broadcast to the public, as well as measures to hold “disinformation” accountable and, last but not least, measures to “strangle” economic operators in the field.

Media Monitoring

Primul in Moldova, fined 13,000 lei for insufficient local product

The Broadcasting Council (BC) has fined the television station Primul in Moldova 13,000 lei (650 euros) for broadcasting insufficient local product. The sanction was imposed at the public hearing on 10 June.

The BC monitored Primul in Moldova from March 22-28, finding that the TV station produced local programs with an average daily duration of less than eight hours (32 hours of broadcast instead of 56 hours), which contravenes legal requirements. This is because Telesistem TV, the founder of First in Moldova, is classified as a national private media service provider and as such is obliged to broadcast at least eight hours of local content.

In this context, the TV administration informed that the server was disconnected on March 20 and that the problem was not addressed in time, as it was a holiday. Because of this, the following day’s broadcasts were partially recorded and the channel’s representatives requested that the regulator monitor the day of March 28, which was recorded in full.

On June 3, the BC fined the TV channel ITV Moldova a total of 42,000 lei (€2,100) for lack  of local and Romanian language broadcasts, as the channel had repeated violations in this respect. The BC fined the channel Familia 5,000 lei (€250) for the same violations. An additional five TV channels – the Comrat public TV channel GRT, and the private TV channels STV, Studio-L, BAS TV, TVC 21 – were publicly warned.

BC: Some broadcasters refuse to publish funding sources, citing trade secrecy

Several Moldovan broadcasters have not indicated their sources of funding and investments in their annual reports to the Broadcasting Council (BC), citing “commercial secrecy” and “confidential information” as reasons for their refusal. BC member Ruslan Mihailevschi carried out this analysis and presented his findings at the end of May.

According to the legislation, private media service providers are obliged to publish on their websites and submit to the BC annually (by February 1) an activity report including the name, nationality of the beneficiary owner or owners, description of the ownership structure, organization chart and share capital of the media service provider, sources of financing of the audiovisual media service and information on the implementation of the audiovisual media service concept for the previous year of activity.

According to  Mihailevschi’s analysis of the annual reports for 2021 of TV media service providers, ten TV stations consider the data on funding sources to be “confidential” or a “trade secret.” These are NTV Moldova, Cinema 1, PEH TV, RTR Moldova, ITV, Bravo TV, Accent TV, Primul in Moldova, ProTV Chisinau, and Tezaur TV.

In addition, four TV stations indicated that they had no sources of funding or investment in the last year – Gurinel TV, Popas TV, ATV Coguk, and ATV.

In this context, Mihailevschi noted that, according to the Civil Code, “the holder of the trade secret may not invoke a legal defense of the trade secret if the alleged acquisition, use or disclosure of the trade secret took place in any of the following cases: a) for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information, as provided for by law and international treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is a party, including for the respect of freedom and pluralism of the media”.

As a short-term solution, the BC member proposed “extending and clarifying the paragraph on the sources of funding of media services, specifying in more detail the categories of data that media service providers are obliged to make public.” He also said that amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Code on transparency of media ownership could be proposed in line with European standards at a later stage.

NTV Moldova fined 18,000 lei and issued two public warnings including for May 9 reports

At its June 3 meeting, the Broadcasting Council (BC) fined NTV Moldova 18,000 lei (900 euro) and publicly warned the broadcaster twice for inaccuracies in its reporting on the  May 9 demonstrations and “subjective opinions” expressed by the moderator of a program. The sanctions were imposed following complaints filed by BC members Larisa Turea and Orest Dabija, as well as

Turea’s complaint related to the monitoring of compliance with the law in the context of the enactment of the law banning the display in Moldova of signs associated with the Russian Federation’s military aggression in Ukraine on April 19-21. According to BC, NTV Moldova violated the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Code, which states that reports must come from reliable sources, sufficiently documented from a factual point of view with a credible and impartial approach to events, and relayed with a balanced reflection of different opinions. The BC also noted that during the “Accent Direct” program on April 19, moderator Alexei Lungu “took a biased approach to his guest’s statements and supported his opinions, which does not contribute to the free formation of opinions.”

The breaches of the law were also noted in the news program “7pm News” on May 9, which was monitored on the basis of Orest Dabija’s self-report. “In the context of the topic ‘The Most Numerous Victory March,’ the significance of May 9 was described as the victory of the ‘Great War for the Defense of the Fatherland,’ the name given by the Soviet Union to the Second World War. Thus, the focus was only on the views of those who support this ideology, without presenting other historical data in relation to the Second World War,” notes the BC.

The petition referred to a May 12 news story headlined “Gavrilita: We have no cause for concern.” The monitoring noted a lack of consistency and accuracy in the reporting of the story, including the insertion of video footage of the attack on a group of people and explosions in the building of the so-called security ministry in Tiraspol following the general statements made by Premier Gavrilita.
The sanctions included and merged the three referrals.

The Media Azi Show

A new draft law on access to information is in the process of being drafted at the Ministry of Justice. Moldova has an access to information law that some experts say is good and others say should be improved. What does the new draft present and what is new for journalists? Journalist Anastasia Nani delves into these questions with head of the policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation department of the Justice Ministry, Liliana Rusu on the Media Azi show.

IJC Updates

The cuMINTE Podcast: What is a deepfake?

The June edition of the cuMINTE Podcast, prepared and broadcast by the IJC, explains the phenomenon of deepfakes, which experts in the field believe is far more dangerous and has a far greater impact than fake news.

The show’s guest, digital media researcher Viorica Budu, argues that fake videos generated by artificial intelligence are becoming more frequent and more convincing. “Both in the media and in international academia, there has been concern that with the deepfake era we will no longer be able to distinguish synthetic videos from real ones,” she says.

And it’s not just about videos. Deepfake technology can generate convincing but completely fictitious photos.  Similarly, it can create voice fakes or voice clones of public figures.
“The ProFact Moldova team has detected several attempts by Sputnik Moldova to assign fake identities to photos manipulated by combining multiple photos and presenting them as editorialists,” notes Budu.

Another guest on the show, lawyer Ilie Chirtoaca from the Center for Legal Resources in Moldova (CRJM), warns that deepfakes can have long-lasting negative effects. They can distort democratic discourse, manipulate elections, erode trust in institutions, endanger public safety and national security, and damage people’s reputations, among other things.

In order to prevent information consumers from falling prey to the phenomenon, the two guests also come up with some tips on how to spot a deepfake: pay attention to the unnatural eye movements of deepfake characters, their facial expressions, and body movements, among other things.

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

The IJC has launched the process of integrating media literacy concepts into core subjects

The IJC has started the process of integrating media literacy concepts into the core subjects to provide a broader perspective on this field. To this end, the IJC and DW Akademie have set up a working group with the participation of experts from Ukraine, Romania, and Lithuania to study the experience and the path these countries have taken in integrating media literacy concepts into other disciplines. The first meeting of the working group was held online on June 8.

IJC Executive Director Nadine Gogu highlighted the importance and value of media literacy at the beginning of the meeting, while Olena Ponomarenko, Program Director in Moldova at DW Akademie, said it was time for the discipline of Media Literacy to move to a new level.

Marcela Adam, Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sport and the Media, said that five years after the introduction of media literacy in schools, the time has come for it to become part of every subject. “The challenges we face speak to the need to rethink the education process. It is important to take a long-term view,” she said.

Daniela Tirsina, a senior consultant in the General Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Research, highlighted the Ministry’s support for the introduction of the optional subject Media Education in the school curriculum and welcomed the initiative to integrate media education concepts into core subjects.
Next, the leader of the working group, media expert Natalia Griu, will have individual consultations with experts from Ukraine, Romania, and Lithuania. Following the meeting, a document will be drafted stipulating the steps to be taken by Moldova to include media education concepts in core subjects.

The working group is created within the project “Strengthening of Media and Information Literacy in Republic of Moldova” with the support of Deutsche Welle Akademie and with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova.

The winners of the second edition of the competition “Media Literacy – a priority in my school” have been announced

The IJC named four winners of the “Media Literacy – a priority in my school” competition at a June 3 event held in Chisinau. The twelve institutions participating in the competition presented their activities in front of colleagues and jury members.

Cristina Leva, DW Akademie project officer in the Moldova, welcomed the participating teachers to the competition, highlighting the important role they play in raising a media literate generation.

Jury member Daniela Tirsina, senior consultant in the General Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Research, expressed her hope that the optional subject Media Education will become more in demand. “I understood how important this discipline is and how much we need it, after attending the first training on the subject organized by the IJC in 2017,” Tirsina said.

The jury also included Ina Grejdeanu, Director for Strategic Development at the IJC, Liuba Petrenco, PhD, Head of the Continuing Education and Management Training Section at UPS “Ion Creanga,” and journalist Dumitru Stoianov.

This year, the competition “Media Literacy – priority in my school” was organized in two categories. In the first stage, seven educational institutions were selected in the category of schools where the optional subject Media Education was taught in the 2021-2022 school year, and in the second stage another five institutions were selected in the category of schools where this subject has not yet been taught.

During the June 3 event at which the final projects were presented, the coordinators of the twelve participating schools had fifteen minutes to present their portfolios of media education activities.  When assessing the portfolios, the jury focused on both the quantity and quality of the activities carried out.

Thus, the winners of the second stage of the competition in the first category were chosen: Sarcova Gymnasium, Sarcova village in Rezina district (teaching in Romanian, teacher Ana Baranetcaia) and Theoretical High School “Al. Puskin” in Falesti (teaching in Russian, teacher Svetlana Tatarciuc).

The winners of the competition in the second category were Gymnasium “Alecu Mare,” Slobozia Mare village in Cahul district (teaching in Romanian, teacher Svetlana Tecuci) and “Heritage” High School in Chisinau (with teaching in Romanian, teachers Adriana Bujag and Tatiana Popa).

The four winning institutions will each be equipped with a Media Corner – a media literacy corner where students will have access to useful resources. Together with teachers, students will have the opportunity to carry out activities promoting critical thinking in a comfortable and creative space.

The competition was organized in the framework of the project “Strengthening of Media Literacy and Information Literacy in the Republic of Moldova” with the support of Deutsche Welle Akademie and with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova.

Media literacy workshop for a group of senior citizens

On June 26, the IJC held a media education workshop for a group of elderly people from the village of Fetesti, Edinet district. During the meeting, participants learned about what media education is and why we need it, why it is important to get information from different sources and what their credibility is, what misinformation is and how we can be manipulated by news, entertainment, and advertising.

Mariana Tabuncic, program manager at the IJC, said that in the information age we live in, media literacy is part of basic skills such as writing, reading and counting. “To understand the information that comes to us we need to consume it leisurely, checking and analyzing it from multiple sources. Only by reviewing the information in bits and pieces, checking for facts and truths without jumping to conclusions, will we be able to get a clear picture of events, so that we can make our own conclusions and not allow anyone to mislead us,” she said.

The President of the Press Council, media expert Viorica Zaharia, also addressed the audience. She spoke about manipulation techniques used in the media, giving concrete examples of manipulative news or rigged debates, showing how propaganda, entertainment, and advertising influence our decision-making. According to her, along with the increasing importance of the information product, most of it aims to mislead us and move us to make decisions that are not in our best interests.

The workshop participants watched several videos made by the IJC which helped them to realize how important it is to get information from several sources in order to avoid information intoxication.

The activity is part of the project “Building cohesion in Moldova through promoting social inclusion and diminishing discrimination” is carried out by the Independent Journalism Center as part of the program “Joint Initiative for Equal Opportunities – Phase II”, implemented from the resources provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Analysis of the new amendments to the AMSC, which provide mechanisms to protect against disinformation

An analysis published in June by the Mediacritica portal examined the amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Code (AMSC) that were voted on June 2 by the Moldovan Parliament. Among other things, they supplement a number of articles in the Code with  legal definitions of the concepts of “information security” and disinformation.

The author of the material, APEL Executive Director Ion Bunduchi, notes that, in essence, the recent amendments could be described as “restoring and strengthening some of the original mechanisms provided for in the Code that are aimed at securing the national audiovisual space.”

The author recalls that the AMSC was passed in 2018, when the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine had already lasted four years. This conflict has highlighted the harmfulness of aggressive propaganda, the awareness that Moldova cannot and should not ignore the dangers of propaganda, and that the Code must contain effective anti-propaganda mechanisms.

In the expert’s opinion, the amendments to Articles 5 and 6 of the AMSC bring back to the text of the law some original provisions, which were excluded for unjustified reasons at the end of 2020. Several changes have been made to Article 17, which refers to the protection of the national audiovisual space.

The material was produced as part of the project “Fighting propaganda and manipulation through media literacy tools”, implemented by the Center for Independent Journalism from November 2021 to November 2022, with the support of the Black Sea Trust, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Freedom House Updates

Freedom House publishes latest edition in the Media Forward policy brief series

Freedom House published Media Forward policy brief “Informational Space in the Transnistrian Region – Media that Divides or Unites?” by Moldovan expert Victoria Rosa. Rosa’s policy brief examines the closed media environment in the Transnistrian region of Moldova in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the so-called presidential election in 2021, looking at how the region’s authorities use the media to advance their own political agenda of self-determination. Additionally, the brief offers recommendations to the Moldovan government on how to bridge the gap between the restrictive media space in the Transnistrian region and the more open media space on the right bank of the Nistru River.


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