‘Following the provisions of Article 86 of the Audiovisual Media Services Code – ‘Cooperation with Civil Society’ – and given that Decision No 02 of 24 March 2020 raised criticism from several journalists and NGOs (...), who called it ‘abuse’ and ‘censorship’ by the authority regulating the audiovisual media services in the Republic of Moldova, and in order to calm down the society, I hereby declare that I am cancelling that Decision’ – said the document released in the evening of 26 March.
The press release also said that the text of that Decision would be debated at the next public meeting of the BC and that ‘all the opinions, views, criticism, and fears articulated during these days’ would be taken into account.
The contentious Decision was harshly criticised by certain journalists, representatives of the civil society, and by the President of the country, Igor Dodon, as well. Also today, the General Prosecutor's Office was notified by several MPs regarding the Decision of the Broadcasting Council concerning the radio and TV stations.
The now-cancelled Decision was forcing TV and radio journalists not to ‘voice and favor their personal opinions’ in addressing the topics on the coronavirus pandemic during the state of emergency, and to include, necessarily, the authorities’ position in the broadcast products. Dragos Vicol stated for Media Azi that the document was first agreed with all the members of the BC and that a meeting on this topic was not conducted due to the pandemic.