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“Media Azi” Broadcast, 33rd Edition: What Is the Cost of Access to Information?

09 March 2017
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Moldovan journalists have to pay to obtain much of the information they use to prepare investigations, because public institutions, such as the State Registration Chamber (SRC) or the “Cadastru” public company, provide access to their databases only for a fee.

How do media outlets deal with this situation and why do not authorities facilitate access of the media to information of public interest? Journalist Anastasia Nani, moderator of this edition of the “Media Azi” show, discussed this topic with her guests – Alina Radu, Director of “Ziarul de Gardă” newspaper, and Mariana Nistor, senior specialist at the Legal Department of SRC.

Among journalists, the most requested database at the State Registration Chamber is the State Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs. Here, however, if you want full information about any company accessible online, you need to pay a fee of 100 lei. If you need to know the history of a company, you need to pay a fee of 245 lei. Usually, when a topic is investigated, media representatives research more than one company, so that amount grows, and the media outlet’s budget suffers. The most exposed to such expenses are investigative journalists.

See what the guests of the show believe about those fees and what arguments journalists bring to support free access to information of public interest; why journalists prefer searching for information in official sources, and not occasional, which are more easy to be found in the Internet; what training investigative reporters need to professionally examine data from a company’s case file; etc.

See, also, what the two guests believe about how the State Registration Chamber or other public institutions could be affected by the limitation of access to information under the pretext of protection of personal data.

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“Media Azi” broadcast is weekly produced by the Independent Journalism Center. It is intended to disclose the problems faced at present by the journalists of the domestic media and to identify solutions to hem. The broadcast may be viewed on the websites www.moldova-azi.md,  Media Azi and Mediacritica, as well as on the Youtube channel of the Independent Journalism centre. 

The broadcast was produced with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, provided by the means of the Embassy of Sweden in Chisinau.