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2019 Press Status Index: Severe State for the Fourth Consecutive Year

02 March 2020
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The media in the Republic of Moldova is still in a severe state. During the past year, the journalists encountered threats from politicians or civil servants, and ineffective law enforcement played its part in encouraging this phenomenon. These are some of the conclusions of the 2019 Moldovan Press Status Index (MPSI), published by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on 26 February 2020. For the fourth consecutive year, this document presents the existing problems, as well as the most important developments in journalism in the previous year.

The assessors (14 experts in the field, e.n.) found the press in a similar condition as in the previous years, that is to say, difficult, assigning a score of 24,14 out of a total of 60 points. The Report concludes that most of the time, the threats to the security of media outlets and the safety of their employees are coming from the state institutions, politicians and civil servants. At the same time, the ineffective law enforcement or the failure to enforce it in risk situations are the main causes of journalists' insecurity and, as a result, the phenomenon becomes more and more frequent.

The Report also explains why, despite the fact that the current legal framework governing the media is mostly satisfactory and complies with the international standards, this segment continues to be plagued by problems.

The Index also reveals experts’ findings as regards the political and economic context and how the events in these areas influenced the activity of the press in the reference year. The document also addresses issues related to the professional environment and the quality of journalism in the Republic of Moldova.   

The MPSI methodology contains seven indicators, relevant to the realities of the Moldovan media: regulatory legal framework; political context; economic environment; professional environment; quality of journalism; information security from a media perspective; safety of journalists.

This methodology provides a diagnosis of both the media in general and of each aspect separately, allowing also to determine the areas that need interventions that would remedy the working conditions of the media so that it could honour fully its social commitments. The annual development of the Index shows the evolution or, as appropriate, the reversal of the situation over time.

The author of the document, media expert Ion Bunduchi, proposed a set of recommendations that could improve the situation. 
 
This report is part of the ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)’ project, funded by USAID, UK Aid and implemented by Internews in Moldova. Its purpose is to promote the development of independent and professional mass-media and to build a media sector that is more resilient to political and economic pressure.