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API este membru al Asociaţiei Mondiale a Ziarelor şi a Producătorilor de Ştiri
(World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers – WAN/IFRA)


Ştiri API
The state has the liability to develop public policies to support local media
Participanții la conferință au formulat mai multe propuneri privind îmbunătățirea situației mass-mediei locale din R. Moldova.Conferința ”Mass-media locale: Quo Vadis?”, vineri, 18 mai 2018, Chișinău.
Foto: API

It is becoming more and more difficult for local and regional mass-media to operate, and the perspectives for their development are becoming increasingly gloomy. The adoption and implementation of appropriate public policies, based of European countries’ models, could contribute to the survival and development of regional mass-media, which stand for a very important chain link to inform citizens. These and other topics have been discussed during the conference "Local Mass-Media: Quo Vadis?", organized by API on Friday, 18 May 2018, in Chisinau, on the occasion of Press Freedom Days. The event was attended by more than 40 managers from various local and regional media institutions: TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and information portals, as well as some representatives of central authorities, regulatory agencies, deputies and representatives of donor institutions.

At the conference opening, Ion Bunduchi, executive director of the Association of Electronic Press, made an overview of the specific legislative, economic and managerial issues that affect the work of the regional mass-media. He pointed out that, in some districts, there are no local media institutions in general, and after the amendment of the election system - in some uninominal constituencies, neither will it be possible to inform the citizens, nor to organize the election debates with the candidates running for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. Local mass-media institutions are necessary for the democratic development of the country, and the state has an obligation to develop public policies to support them, the expert said.

The participants to the conference noted that the situation of the local and regional mass-media had worsened a lot over the recent years, and the local press exists mostly due to international projects only, without having access to the advertising market which is monopolized and targeted at specific politically-controlled media institutions. Ludmila Topal, executive director of „Canal Regional” network, suggested to amend the legislation with a view to make public institutions direct a part of budget means for informing citizens on public interest topics via local mass-media, and the beneficiaries of these means should be selected based on transparent public competitions. Tudor Iașcenco, director of „Cuvântul” newspaper, Rezina, member of the API Board of Directors, referred to the pressure exerted lately by some state institutions on local media and to the difficulties encountered by investigative journalists in obtaining information of public interest.

During the conference, special attention was paid to the advertising market situation and the prospects for collaboration among local and regional mass-media and the advertising agencies. The media expert Eugen Rîbca presented the new draft law on advertising, the purpose of which is to help improve the situation on the advertising market. To her turn, Galina Zablovscaia, executive director of the Association of Advertising Agencies in Republic of Moldova, emphasized the fact that, during the last years, there has been a clear tendency that advertising on central TV channels is reducing in favor of the on-line, and this tendency will continue, according to forecasts, over the next few years. Under such circumstances, there is a high possibility for regional and local media to increase the volume of advertising, if they come up with joint network offers and provide concrete data on audience and audience profiles.

Victoria Miron, director of Mass-Media Program of Soros Moldova Foundation, declared her skepticism that things would evolve in this direction, mentioning that the rules of the advertising market are functioning in a genuine democracy and in a healthy market economy, which can not be said about our country. She called upon local / regional mass-media to show solidarity each time they feel that their rights are restricted or certain restrictions are imposed on them, and to defend their rights with dignity by all legal means, including through well-organized public pressure actions on authorities which do nothing to ensure a legal and economic framework for the development of local media. Most participants to the conference supported this call.

The conference was also attended by Lilian Carp, deputy chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission for culture, education, research, youth, sports and mass media, who has expressed his opinion on the public policies necessary for improvement of the operation conditions of local mass-media; Dorina Curnic, member of the Broadcasting Coordination Council, referred to the actions undertaken by BCC to support local and regional broadcasters. Also, the media expert Aneta Gonţa presented several examples of public policies applied in several European countries, meant to facilitate the activity of local media, which could be borrowed by Moldova. The examples are part of the study "Investing in Media Pluralism. Practices for Supporting and Subsidizing Mass-Media Development", which is to be finalized and presented by API in the upcoming weeks.

The participants to the conference have put forward several proposals on how to improve the situation of local and regional mass-media in Republic of Moldova, and API will systematize and formulate them as public policy proposals, promoting them to the political and administrative decision-makers.

For more information: e-mail: ion.mazur@api.md, web: www.api.md (contact person– Ion Mazur)

This event has been made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Association of Independent Press and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

 

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