Monthly Bulletin, March 2024


Nine non-governmental organizations, including the Independent Journalism Center have signed a joint statement expressing their concern about the lack of quality standards in the law allowing the temporary or permanent suspension of audiovisual media service providers’ licenses by the Council for the Promotion of Investment Projects of National Importance (CPPIIN). The signatories draw attention to the fact that, until the new mechanism for suspending the licensing of audiovisual media service providers was introduced, the law allowed the forced suspension of broadcasting licenses only based on a court decision, which was an additional guarantee of the legality of the authorities’ decisions. Under the new legal mechanism, CPPIIN decisions become enforceable from the date of issue. They also note that suspension has now been transformed from a punitive to a preventive measure, applied for “reasonable suspicion”.

Non-governmental organizations point out that the suspension of a TV station’s broadcasting license is an interference in the right to free expression of the press, and that public consultation on legislative initiatives affecting this area is of particular importance. They call on the authorities to review the relevant legal provisions to bring them into line with international standards.



A new decision by the Council for the Promotion of Investment Projects of National Importance leaves a company that owns media service providers without any permit. This is the owner of TV station Canal 5 and radio station Maestro FM. The decision was taken at a meeting on 20 March, according to a government statement.

The source says the decision to suspend the activities of the two institutions was taken following the finding of reasonable suspicion of the involvement of the company’s beneficial owners in activities affecting state security.



The Independent Journalism Center of Moldova, together with 20 other media organizations, have signed a letter calling on EU Member States regulators and the European Commission to take steps for the effective implementation of the European Media Freedom Act adopted by the European Parliament on 13 March.

The document will oblige EU countries to protect the independence of the press from economic, political and governmental interference, and all forms of interference in editorial decisions will be banned. Among other things, authorities will be banned from pressuring journalists and editors to reveal their sources, according to a European Parliament statement.

All media outlets will also be obliged to publish information about their ownership structure.

In the letter, the 21 media organizations warn that the European Media Freedom Act sets only minimum standards in certain areas. The signatories argue that Member States can and should go much further in establishing strong safeguards to protect media freedom and pluralism and the rights of journalists.



The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has called on the Moldovan authorities to review “without delay” the provisions of the audiovisual legislation that brought the public media service provider back under parliamentary control in autumn 2021 and interfered with the mechanisms guaranteeing the independence of the Audiovisual Council (AC) and Teleradio – Moldova (TRM). The decision was issued on 14 March as part of the process of supervising the authorities’ execution of the Manole et al v Moldova ruling, which passed into an advanced procedure in Strasbourg in June 2022.

At the same time, the European institution insists on the need to involve civil society in this process, taking into account the relevant Council of Europe and European Union standards, as well as the Council of Europe experts’ recommendations, “already provided at the request of the authorities and suggesting a set of elements to be included in the new draft law”.



Teleradio – Moldova’s Supervisory and Development Council (SDC) member Corneliu Popovici accused the entity of failing to meet its obligations and branded the SDC a “ghost structure”. On the other hand, the president of the Council, Arcadie Gherasim, claims that some objections to the Council “are made up”.

On a call with the Independent Journalism Centre’s portal Media Azi, Corneliu Popovici, claimed that the Council of which he is a member does not demonstrate its usefulness in the process of reforming Teleradio-Moldova. For his part, the president of the Council, Arcadie Gherasim, says that Popovici has the right to his opinion, but that he would violate some of the rules established by the SDC regulation, with reference to the conduct of Council members.

Referring to the disputes at TRM, the chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on culture, education, research, youth, sport and the media, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei commented that the discussions on social networks are not of quality. She recalled that the parliamentary committee she heads also tried to resolve a labour dispute at TRM through the opposition, saying that such cases should not be resolved by Parliament but by the company’s management.

We would like to point out that there are 7 members of the SDC: Arcadie Gherasim and Sergiu Stanciu, proposed by the parliamentary majority, Corneliu Popovici, proposed by the opposition and four people from civil society – Aurelian Danila, Loretta Handrabura, Irina Matenco and Maria Sleahtitchi.


During 2023, the Equality Council examined several cases involving instigating messages towards LGBT+ people or highlighting ethnic origin in a negative context in the media and on social networks. In most of these cases, the Council has called for the removal of social media posts and for refraining from speech that offends the dignity of people based on their sexual or ethnic identity. The findings are contained in the report on the situation in the field of preventing and combating discrimination in the Republic of Moldova for 2023, presented to Parliament on 25 March.

We would like to point out that the Independent Journalism Center’s portal systematically warns about discriminatory messages based on ethnicity in press materials. Earlier, in an analysis for Mediacritica, Natalia Porubin, member of the Press Council, said that “in some cases, mentioning ethnicity or belonging to a religious group is not relevant to an article, yet some colleagues in the press highlight these details without taking into account that in this way they contribute to the perpetuation of stereotypes.


Media Legislation



The authorities would create an institutionally autonomous fund, partly financed from the state budget, through which projects and products developed by the media would be financially supported. The law providing for this funding mechanism is a first for the Republic of Moldova and was adopted in final reading with the vote of 57 MPs.

According to the document, the Media Subsidy Fund would be administered by a council selected by representative media organizations, which would be subordinated to the Ministry of Culture. Media institutions that will be eligible for subsidies must meet several criteria, including complying with the journalist’s code of ethics, having been operating in the market for at least one year or not being on the banned list of subsidy recipients.

The law will enter into force three months after publication in the Official Gazette.



Dubasari police officers Alexei Vizdan and Ion Tarna complained to the court after the publication of the investigation “Hidden assets and interests at Dubasari police station”, which the TV channel rebroadcast in its news bulletins. The material stated that the two had become rich through illegal means, cigarette smuggling, swindling and corruption”.

Following complaints in defense of their honour, dignity and professional reputation, the Chisinau Court of Appeals, Centre Court, ordered the TV station “to deny the false and defamatory reports spread about Alexei Vizdan and Ion Tarina” and to express a public apology. The court also ordered Jurnal TV to pay each of the former policemen 25.400 lei (1270 euro) in moral damages and court costs.


Media Monitoring



The Audiovisual Council fined Orvitmedia SRL, a distributor in the Gagauz Autonomous Unit, 70,000 lei (3500 euro) for retransmitting news and analytical programs of Russian TV stations, which is prohibited by law, and 20,000 lei (1000 euro) for activity without a permit. The decision was taken at a meeting on 15 March.

According to the AC, Orvitmedia SRL violated the provisions on the protection of the national audiovisual space by retransmitting prohibited content produced in the Russian Federation. Moreover, the company was retransmitting 65 television services without authorization, including Pervii Kanal, Rossia 24 and Rossia 1, which during the period of control broadcast programs dedicated to the message of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly.

At the same meeting, Ilk Halk Televizionu SRL was fined 30,000 lei (1500 euro) for repeatedly operating without a broadcasting license. The Board members gave the two entities a maximum of 15 working days to legalize their activities.


The Media Azi Show


The image of women in the media, the perpetuation of stereotypes, but also what examples could be followed for a more inclusive society, were discussed on the Media Azi show by journalist Anastasia Nani and doctor of philology Loretta Handrabura. The program was launched as part of the “Inclusion starts with me” campaign.



Although individual employment contracts and author contracts are perfectly legal, they contain different provisions that every employee should be aware of, including when they want to work in a media organization. What is the distinction between the two forms of contract? Journalist Anastasia Nani discussed the issue with the director of the State Labour Inspectorate, Catalin Tacu, on Media Azi Show.


IJC Updates



A monitoring by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) shows that several readers’ comments on articles published on the news portal contain deviations from legal norms. In general, authors of comments are responsible for the content they post in comments on journalistic material. However, it is also the responsibility of website administrators to comply with the Code of Ethics of Journalists, which stipulates that media institutions, in the administration of their websites, as well as those on social networks, do not allow or accept deviations from legal and ethical rules in their reactions (comments) from the public.

The administrator of the portal, Olesea Bolboceanu, said that they are currently working to remedy the situation. However, due to a lack of human resources, moderation of comments is rather difficult as “trolls are very persistent”. According to her, the situation gets worse especially in election years.

The monitoring was carried out as part of the “Get the trolls out!” project which aims to analyze hate speech on religious topics and encourage young people to fight against religious discrimination and intolerance in Europe. As a partner in the project, the Independent Journalism Center is targeting both traditional media and social media to examine how media outlets cover religious topics and identify cases of anti-religious narratives.



Why are traditional media sources not appealing to young people and how should media outlets go about making sure the news they publish reaches a young audience?

This is the question Doru Curosu, a specialist in human resources and youth policy, tries to answer in a commentary published on the Independent Journalism Center’s Media Azi portal.

According to the author, very few young people listen to the radio, watch TV news, or read newspapers and magazines. One solution would be for the media to shift their resources to social media, where young people spend an overwhelming percentage of their time.

At the same time, he argues, to attract young people the media should cater to the interests of this audience: create interactive content, such as polls or live events; provide content tailored to individual users’ preferences; use simple and accessible language. The author also believes that in order to be informed and become critical consumers of news, young people need to get used to reading from school.

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.



The IJC’s Mediacritica portal publishes an analysis of what media means and who can be called a journalist in the digital age. The author, media expert Victor Gotisan, wonders if online publishing has changed the paradigm of the journalist’s identity and if there are clear differences between journalists and bloggers, vloggers, and influencers who work with the same raw material—information.

In his opinion, journalism and the figure of the traditional journalist has not radically changed with the advent of the Internet, and the fundamental principles of journalism, including online journalism, are and should remain unchanged: accuracy, fairness, transparency, non-partisanship, independence and accountability.

To the question in the title, Victor Gotisan refers to the Journalist’s Code, which every employee of the press should use as a reference source in his work. In addition to the rules laid down in the code, the author lists several conditions and qualities that must be met in order to qualify as a journalist. These include professional ethics, responsibility for what is said, published or broadcast, moral integrity, added value and others.

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.



IJC and Internews Updates



A group of 23 journalists and/or people in charge of managing accounts on online platforms of newsrooms in the Republic of Moldova were trained on 22-23 March as part of the training program “Set ads correctly, increase results” organized by the Independent Journalism Center. The trainers were Natalia Camerzan, head of the Google Ads Department of Boomerang Agency, and Olga Sirbu, expert in Advertising and Marketing.

For two days, participants learned how to effectively set up advertising with Google Ads and Meta Ads to improve visibility and increase the effectiveness of ads.

Participants had the opportunity to test in practice how different types of ads work, to set the audience correctly or to create different types of campaigns depending on the region, interests or age of the audience.

This training is 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.



In April 2024, the Independent Journalism Center will organize two media education trainings for secondary school teachers. The trainings are based on the curriculum for the optional Media Literacy course at the secondary level, developed by the IJC and approved by the National Curriculum Council.

On the basis of the curriculum, the IJC has developed the Education for Average Secondary School Achievement textbooks in Romanian, which are offered free of charge to pupils and teachers. The aim of these trainings is to improve teachers’ media literacy skills so that they can then promote critical thinking among pupils by teaching the optional subject Media Literacy in school.

The first training will take place from 12-14 April 2024 and the second from 19-21 April. Both programs will be held in Romanian, in Chisinau, and will be taught by Loretta Handrabura and Natalia Griu.

The 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.


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