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Volume 15, Nr.11, November 30, 2010

DEFICIT OF POSITIVE REPORTS ABOUT CHILDREN IN THE MEDIA (November, 1)

The authors of the Media Monitoring Report as to the observance of children's rights calls the media owners and news editors to encourage positive reports about children that highlight personalities and their successes.
The monitoring team recommends that publishers ensure the protection of the child-victim identity in journalistic materials and non-disclosure of information that can leave children exposed. They also recommend that editors not abuse publishing information or pictures showing details of crimes and incidents involving children.
These recommendations are included in the monitoring report of 16 media outlets as to the observance of children’s rights carried out in September and presented at the end of the last week.
The authors found that a considerable part of journalistic materials covered in September had promoted the image of the helpless child, a victim of violence or trafficking and in conflict with the law. The monitoring team also found poor documentation of news about children, often based on written notices of medical institutions or enforcing bodies. "The use of such information without additional documentation leads to violation of the presumption of innocence and the rights of children, particularly in cases where their identity is disclosed or identification details are provided," say the authors.

The report was conducted by the Independent Press Association (API) as part of a project funded by the UNICEF Office in Moldova. The media monitoring as to the observance of the children’s rights will continue until December 2010. (IJC, API)

JOURNALIST ERNEST VARDANEAN TRIED IN SECRET IN TIRASPOL (November, 4)

The first hearing of Ernest Vardanyan’s case was held on Wednesday in Tiraspol. The Transnistrian security services arrested the journalist on April 7. He was charged with espionage in favor of Moldova.

The hearing was held behind closed doors and carried on in secret. The OSCE representatives, as well as the journalist’s relatives, were not allowed to the hearing. The case investigation lasted seven months.

The next hearing was set for Friday, November 5.Irina Vardanyan, the journalist's wife, told the Free Europe that Ernest has no legal support at all. She says she has not seen her husband for two months.

The journalist Ernest Vardanyan was arrested on April 7. He is charged with high treason and espionage in favor of Moldova, facing a jail term of up to 20 years. On May 11, in a video broadcast by the state television, Ernest Vardanyan admitted that he worked with the Moldovan secret service. Experts say that these statements were made as result of pressures made on the journalist. (IJC, Monitor Media Agency)

TVR 1 BACK TO THE MOLDOVAN TV SCREENS (November, 10)

The Romanian public broadcaster –TVR 1 is coming back to Moldovan screens. After the adjustment of technical parameters, TV station 2 Plus, which has national coverage, will retransmit TVR 1 in Moldova.
On November 10, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC) adopted a decision to this effect, allowing the Company Phone M International (the holder of 2 Plus TV license) to retransmit the Romanian public broadcaster in Moldova. The company Phone M International says it will bear all expenses (about $1 million) for the retransmission of TVR in Moldova.

The retransmission of TVR in Moldova was stopped in autumn 2007 after the broadcasting regulatory authority contested the second national frequency on which TVR 1 was retransmitted, despite the fact that its license was valid until 2011. Moldovan authorities have reasoned their decision by saying that TVR would go into debt of $150 000 for retransmission in Moldova.

The Romanian Society for Television (RTS) has appealed against the above decision by filing a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights after June 10, 2008, when the Chisinau Supreme Court rejected its appeal brought against the two decisions that denied retransmission of TVR 1 programs. The Romanian Television claimed damages amounting to EURO 500,000 from the BCC caused by the impossibility of broadcasting TVR 1 on Moldovan territory. After the Communists left power, in October 2009, within the context of the TVR case, the Romanian Society for Television initiated the procedure of friendly settlement of the conflict and to bring back TVR 1 to the Moldovan broadcasting market. (IJC, Monitor Media Agency)

B.A.T.I.
  WILL LAUNCH THE FIRST CIRCULATION AUDIT IN MOLDOVA (November, 10)

On November 10, the Audit Bureau of Circulations and Internet (B.A.T.I.) has reached one year after its registration and announced that it will launch its first circulation audit early next year.
During the past year, the association has focused its activities on ensuring the functionality of the structure and preparing the first audit of circulations. 

The Audit Bureau of Circulations and Internet (BATI) is expected to launch the first draft of the audit in January 2011."Thus, the publishers and the advertising market will receive a much anticipated service by all advertising industry in Moldova," says BATI. BATI said that its long-term goals are to establish and strengthen fair competition in the media and advertising market, increase the transparency of newspaper circulation, increase investment in advertising in print media and thus strengthening viable press.

BATI Association is an organization created to independently and objectively check the performance indicators of various media products. Currently, 23 written press publishers are members of BATI, as well as web sites, advertising agencies and advertisers.

BATI (
www.bati.md) was created under a project implemented by Independent Journalism Center(IJC) with the financial support of the Representation of Eurasia Foundation in Moldova with financial resources of external donors.(www.bati.md, IJC)

SPECIAL PRESS CLUB DEBATE TOOK PLACE IN COMRAT (November, 18)

During the Press Club debate of 18 November, a number of experts from Chişinău, Comrat and Cimişlia discussed how the media should cover the electoral campaign in TAU Găgăuz-Yeri.

The journalists stressed that Gagauzian media encountered some problems regarding coverage of the electoral campaign. At the same time, the experts specified that the journalists in any situation should follow the provisions of the Regulations on Media Coverage of Electoral Campaigns.

Stepan Piron, Director of the Comrat-based Independent Journalism Center, said that one of the problems was that Gagauzian media used hidden electoral advertising. He noted that news programs showed electoral candidates and officials who had not been suspended from office and who had not turned in their mandates in the People’s Assembly. “This means that such candidates use the administrative resources and are privileged in comparison with other electoral candidates,” Stepan Piron concluded.

Ion Bunduchi, the Executive Director of the Broadcasters Association APEL said that a solution to this problem would be for the journalists to choose the events about which to write. “Before going to an event to be also attended by an electoral candidate, we must estimate for how many readers or viewers the event will be interesting. Thus, the journalists will be able to avoid promoting hidden electoral advertising,” Ion Bunduchi explained.

Ecaterina Jecova, President of Teleradio-Gagauzia Broadcaster, suggested that if the journalists did cover an event that did not present interest to the public but which had been attended by an electoral candidate, the media should then offer equal airtime to the other candidates. “The journalists would thus cover the electoral campaign accurately and fairly and would avoid making hidden advertising in favor of one or another electoral candidate,” Ecaterina Jecova concluded.  

The Press Club was organized by the Independent Journalism Center as part of the “Strengthening the Moldovan Media Capacity to Cover Issues of Public Interest” Project, with the financial support of the European Union Delegation in Moldova as part of the European Tool for Democracy and Human Rights. (IJC)

MASS-MEDIA AND CIVIL SOCIETY–PARTNERSHIP FOR SOLVING SOCIAL ISSUES (November, 28)

Thirteen journalists strengthened their skills in covering social topics in a training seminar organized by Independent Journalism Center(IJC) from November 25 to 27 in Tiraspol.

In the training held by the trainers Milena Dimitrova and Ludmila Covali, journalists from Chişinău, Tiraspol, Dubăsari, Comrat, and Râbniţa had the possibility to learn new techniques of covering social topics in both print and broadcast media.

According to the Bulgarian trainer Milena Dimitrova, in addition to the general principles of high quality journalism, the journalist who writes on social issues must also respect specific principles, such as fairness, justice, honesty. “It is in the journalist’s power to facilitate the communication between the authorities and the society and to contribute to the settlement of certain social issues,” Milena Dimitrova said.

Maria Parfionova, Director of Gagauzia Radio (Comrat), said that the training helped her identify new ideas for the social subjects that she intends to produce. “The workshops that I attended were very useful because together with my colleagues we developed a concept of social radio program that would tackle the issues of ordinary people.”

Also, the journalists had the possibility to meet with the representatives of a number of Transnistrian NGOs who are directly involved in the settlement of social issues related with children in need, pensioners, etc.

Svetlana Zaharova, employee of Adevărul Nistrean publication (Tiraspol), said that she had a unique possibility of directly establishing contacts with the representatives of those NGOs. “I realized that the media with the support of NGOs can solve the existing social issues.”

The Media Coverage of Social Topics Training took place as part of Strengthening the Moldovan Media Capacity to Cover Issues of Public Interest Project, with the financial support of the EU Delegation in Moldova as part of the European Tool for Democracy and Human Rights. The project is implemented by IJC in partnership with the Media Center of Tiraspol and Center for Media Development of Sofia, Bulgaria.(IJC)

 
Volume 14, Nr.10, October 30, 2010

HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE SCREEN (October, 10)

Four documentaries about the human rights situation in Moldova will be released. Produced by South East Media Agency in Germany in partnership with the Committee for Press Freedom and the NGO Generation of Youth, the media project “Human Rights on the Screen” is intended to raise awareness about fundamental human rights in relation to how laws work regarding minorities, tolerance and freedom of expression.

The media campaign is targeting youth within Moldova. They will participate in a training on how to make a one-minute film that reflects their understanding of respecting rights within their communities.

These activities will result in a “Festival on Wheels” where the four professional documentaries, as well as the one minute video shorts produced by the youth participating in the training, will be presented and discussed. The festival will visit 10 cities all over Moldova and will include discussions with experts from Moldova and Europe, as well as representatives from NGOs, media and civil society.

The project “Human Rights on the Screen” is supported financially by the German Foreign Ministry and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. (IJC, TRM)

FIRST REPORT ON MEDIA MONITORING OF THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN FOR THE EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS RELEASED (October, 19)

The Independent Journalism Center, as part of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, released the results of the first phase of monitoring the manner in which the major media in Moldova have reported the campaign for the early parliamentary elections.

General conclusions:

  • Radio/TV stations

During September 28 – October 10, 2010, the 10 monitored radio and TV stations broadcasted a rather large amount of materials with direct and indirect electoral impact. Besides the content directly related to the electoral process, the majority of the concerned stations followed, and largely reflected, the political process as well, especially the disagreements within the ruling alliance, having indirect electoral implications.

  • Print Media /News Agencies/ Web Portals

As it was during previous electoral campaigns, the media is still divided depending on the electoral preferences of editors and journalists. The majority of media institutions that intensively promoted the Party of Communists in the previous elections (Nezavisimaia Moldova, Moldova Suverană, www.omg.md) continue to do so during this campaign, presenting the PCRM only in a positive context in news and opinion materials. At the same time, the political opponents of communists – the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) in general, and the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party in particular, are shown almost exclusively in a negative way, being accused of poor management, conflict of interests, favoritism and even violation of legislation.


Other media (Timpul de dimineaţă, Jurnal de Chişinău, Cuvântul, Gazeta de Sud), continue to act the same way as during the previous electoral campaigns, presenting the PCRM in a mostly negative context. At the same time, the AEI, as the ruling alliance, appears in these newspapers mostly in favorable light, with attempts to analyze the problems faced by rulers and to justify their failures. News Agency Moldpres also falls into this same category.

The full version of the report is available on: http://www.ijc.md/Publicatii/monitorizare/Raport1_28sept_10oct_eng.pdf

The project “Monitoring media during the electoral campaign” is implemented in partnership with the Independent Press Association and the Institute for Marketing and Polls IMAS-INC Chisinau. The monitoring period is September 28 to November 28, 2010. The results were published in bimonthly reports, in the first month of the monitoring, then in weekly reports.

The project is funded by the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Moldova, by the Council of Europe and by the East-European Foundation, with funds provided by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Eurasia Foundation. Also, this report is made possible with the generous support of the American people,  through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under AED`s Moldova Civil Society Strengthening Program (MCSSP).

TELERADIO-MOLDOVA STATED THE PRINCIPLES OF COVERING CAMPAIGN FOR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS (October, 19)

The Public Company “Teleradio-Moldova” (TRM) has stated the principles of covering the campaign for the 28 November parliamentary elections, the schedule of electoral debates and the tariffs for paid electoral advertising.

The TRM Regulations describe the conditions for scheduling and broadcasting the airtime for both free and paid electoral advertising.

TRM will offer 10 minutes of free airtime to each electoral candidate on Radio Moldova and five minutes on Moldova 1, which can be used until November 5. TRM will additionally offer free airtime for live interactive programs: 15 minutes on Moldova 1 and 35 minutes on Radio Moldova to each candidate for broadcasting their electoral programs.

On TRM, the electoral debates will be organized in two rounds, in the period from November 1 – 26. The duration of each debate will be 60 minutes on Moldova 1 and 90 minutes on Radio Moldova. A round of debates implies ten programs on Radio Moldova and on Moldova 1. The electoral candidates will participate in the debates together with representatives from civil society, invited by TRM.

TRM has also publicized the tariffs per minute of paid electoral advertising, which will be EUR 70 on Radio Moldova, EUR 400 on Moldova 1, and EUR 200 on Moldova International TV. (IJC, Monitor Media Agency, TRM)

PRESS FREEDOM INDEX IMPROVED FOR MOLDOVA, RsF REPORTS (October, 20)

Moldova has significantly improved its position in the yearly report World Press Freedom Index 2009, moving up to the 75th position.

Moldova received 19.13 points and last year received 33.75 points. In 2008, Moldova ranked 98 (with 21.38 points), in 2007 – 81, and in 2006 – 85. Last year, Moldova ranked 114.

The report was prepared by Reporters sans Frontieres (RsF) who analyzed the situation of the press in 178 countries.

According to the RsF report, Finland, Iceland, Holland, Norway and Sweden rank first as having the press with the best situation in the world. At the opposite pole are Turkmenistan (176), North Korea (177) and Eritrea (178) who have the press with the worst situation. (IJC, Monitor Media Agency)

MOLDOVAN JOURNALISTS INTERESTED IN LOCAL INVESTIGATIONS (October, 25)

Fifteen Moldovan journalists had the opportunity to investigate corruption cases during the training entitled Corruption: Targeted by Investigation Journalists, organized October 21-23 by the Independent Journalism Center, (IJC). Journalists from Soroca, Balti, Comrat, and Tiraspol were trained by Bulgarian and Moldovan experts to carry out an investigation, beginning with the pre-documentation phase, identification of sources and documents and finishing with writing/publishing the material. According to the Bulgarian trainer, Alexenia Dimitrova, the sources are one of the essential elements of investigation. “The success of an investigative material is due to the multitude of sources the journalist is able to find. Sometimes to investigate a corruption case the journalist may use up to 20 sources”, said Alexenia Dimitrova.

The co-trainer, Vitalie Calugareanu, showed practical examples to the participants so that they could get a lot of information by accessing the on-line databases available in Moldova and other countries. “During an investigation it is essential to cooperate with journalists from abroad, thus ensuring to our material a larger efficiency, and a certain protection for us from the international network of journalists”, emphasized Vitalie Calugareanu.

During the second part of this training the journalists selected an investigation topic related to their communities and sketched an imaginary action plan to detect eventual sources and determine the phases to go through before publishing the material.  

The training “Corruption: Targeted by Investigative Journalists” was developed within the project “Strengthening the Moldovan Media Capacity to Cover Issues of Public Interest” , with the financial support of the EU Delegation to Moldova within the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. This project was implemented by the IJC in partnership with the Media Center in Tiraspol and the Media Development Center, in Sofia, Bulgaria. (IJC)

REGIONAL TV STATIONS TO ORGANIZE ELECTORAL DEBATES (October, 26)

In the period from October 29 to November 26, the network of regional TV and radio stations under the Media Program of the Soros Foundation Moldova will organize electoral debates.

On the eve of launching the debates, the stations managers met in Chisinau and made an overview of their preparation for producing the programs. The most fervent discussions were held about whether the electoral competitors invited to the debates would show up. The managers lamented over cases when only one out of four guests showed up, and thus, the viewers were deprived of the opportunity of being more broadly informed about electoral offers.

The network members decided to call a meeting with all the electoral competitors registered for the elections in order to find joint solutions to facilitating the communication between the local electorate with the electoral candidates through the regional TV stations.

In the past three electoral campaigns of 2009-2010, the member stations of the regional network organized and broadcasted more than 170 TV debates.

At present, the network brings together 15 local TV and 13 local radio stations from the entire country, including from the Gagauz territorial-administrative unit and Transnistria.

The project is funded by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida). (IJC, INFO-PRIM NEO)

VISIBILITY OF POLITICAL ACTORS ON PUBLIC BROADCAST NETWORKS (October, 26)

The Electronic Media Association (APEL) has made public the results of the monitoring of political pluralism in the news of the Public Company “Teleradio-Moldova” (TRM).

The monitoring was conducted in the period from September 7 to October 15.

During the reporting period, TRM broadcast 98 electoral news stories, 30 of which had a conflictual character. The political news referred to 60 politicians and state officers.

The monitoring results show that the main political entities had the following airtime in political news: Communist Party of Moldova – 942 seconds; Liberal Party – 542 seconds; Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova – 473 seconds; Democratic Party of Moldova – 441 seconds; Our Moldova Alliance – 377 seconds, and the Alliance for European Integration – 243 seconds.

On Moldova 1, the most covered political leaders were Mihai Ghimpu (LP leader) with 915 seconds; Vlad Filat (LDPM) with 594 seconds; Vladimir Voronin (CPM) – 468 seconds; Serafim Urechean (OMA) – 288 seconds; and Marian Lupu (DP) – 149 seconds.

In the reporting period, Radio Moldova broadcast 115 political news stories, 12 of which had a conflict character. The 115 subjects mentioned 85 politicians and state officers.

On Radio Moldova, OMA had 1511 seconds in political news; CPM – 1370 seconds; LP – 1204 seconds; LDPM – 1181 seconds; and DPM – 621 seconds.

The most covered political leaders in electoral news on Radio Moldova in this period were Mihai Ghimpu with 1554 seconds; Vlad Filat – 1101 seconds; Serafim Urechean – 948 seconds; and Vladimir Voronin – 475 seconds.

For the most part, the political actors were treated neutrally both on Moldova 1 and on Radio Moldova.

APEL produced its report with the support of the Soros Moldova Foundation as part of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections. (IJC, APEL)

NEW MEDIA MONITORING METHODOLOGY ADOPTED BY BROADCASTING COORDINTING COUNCIL (October, 30)

On October 29, 2010 the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC) unanimously adopted its new media monitoring methodology, which was elaborated in the framework of the Joint Programme of the European Union and Council of Europe “Democracy Support Programme to Moldova”

Dinu Ciocan, the Head of the Monitoring Unit of BCC, said that the media monitoring methodology was designed by the Council of Europe experts Richard Carver (Media Oxford Research, Great Britain) and Marek Mracka (MEMO98, Slovakia) in accordance with the European standards and Moldovan legislation. “The document lays out several different methodologies, since the various legal obligations of broadcasters require different types of monitoring. BCC needs the methodology for monitoring the Moldovan broadcast media for compliance with various legal obligations”, mentioned Dinu Ciocan.

Gheorghe Gorincioi, head of BCC, said that the methodology was recently discussed with national and local broadcasters and civil society representatives during a round table. “We have received only positive feed-back during the debates on this important document both from the civil society organizations and the broadcasters. I propose to the members of BCC to adopt the media monitoring methodology”, mentioned Gorincoi, who was supported by all the members of BCC.

BCC will use the new methodology for monitoring the media coverage of early parliamentary elections by national broadcasters. From October 27, Marek Mracka advised and assisted the BCC in drafting media monitoring reports. He has participated at the daily and weekly meeting of the staff of the Monitoring Unit of BCC and presented his observations on strengths and weaknesses of the media monitoring activities and corresponding recommendations.

In September the staff of the Monitoring Units of the BCC was trained on how to monitor political and electoral coverage, but also on the monitoring of social pluralism and advertising in accordance with the new media monitoring methodology.

The “Democracy Support Programme in Moldova” responds to the authorities’ needs in reforming and streamlining human rights protection mechanisms, strengthening political dialogue and developing a pluralist media. It applies European standards in the activity of the judiciary system, the prosecution service, the police, the ombudsman institution, the media and the Moldovan Parliament.

With a total budget of 4,000,000 Euros, the project will run until July 2011. (www.coe.md, IJC)

 
Volume 13, Nr.9, September 10, 2010
Volume 13, Nr.9, September 10, 2010
 
Volume 12, Nr.8, August 01, 2010
Volume 12, Nr.8, August 01, 2010
 
Volume 11, Nr.7, July 30, 2010
Volume 11, Nr.7, July 30, 2010
 
Volume 10, Nr.6, June 30, 2010
Volume 10, Nr.6, June 30, 2010
 
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