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Diaspora Wants to Support Moldovan Media. Alina Radu: “I don’t expect financial ‘bombs’, but rather a step by step cooperation.”

21 March 2017
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Almost 200 people, members of the diaspora community from 19 countries, attended the forum held on March 18-19 this year in Venice, Italy. Discussion at the meeting concerned the problems that Moldova is facing, including those of the media. The event was attended by the representatives of Moldovan media as well.
Speaking about the media, participants of the diaspora community forum, organized by the “Adopta un vot” Community, expressed their concern about the financial situation of independent media and about media owners’ influence on the work of journalists. Anastasia Condruc, one of the organizers, told us that a special working group on the media was created at the forum, and it is “to develop mechanisms to counter the sources of propaganda by creating a network of experts, including IT, and to promote the voice of the diaspora in shows and interviews.” This objective was included into the final Resolution adopted by the diaspora representatives.
Alina Radu, director of the “Ziarul de Garda” newspaper, who attended the forum, told “Media Azi” that she was surprised that people from the diaspora created this working group on the situation of Moldovan media, which was joined by various people, including those working as reporters for foreign media and young people studying journalism and IT. “We had a very mobilizing discussion and it clearly showed their interest in the existence of independent, fair and professional media in Moldova. We even drafted a small working plan. But I would like everybody to understand that this forum is not just about money, because expatriates, especially those who came to the forum, are not directors of Financial Times or BBC; they are just hard-working people with good intentions. So, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow they will send millions to maintain the press, but they might come with ideas, European experience, moral support, sources of information.”
In this context, “Ziarul de Garda” director also said that she does not expect “financial bombs”, but rather step by step cooperation, which will lead to boost in confidence, rapprochement of citizens from both sides, meaning they could ally about a media they like, and that would mean contribution for independent media.
We asked if “Ziarul de Garda” will increase its readership in the expat community due to those people liking it, and Alina Radu said: “I don’t know whether ZdG will explode after this meeting, but we enjoyed much appreciation and encouragement, and we found a lot of sources of information, people who can be interesting to our readers. It was one of the basic missions accomplished – better communication between the expat community and those living at home through ‘Ziarul de Garda.’”
Journalist Natalia Morari, co-founder of the Association of Journalists that will reorganize the TV7 channel, who has recently returned from the same diaspora community forum, told “Media Azi” that relations with the diaspora community become important for all aspects of life in the country and that they could become a fresh breath, coming up with ideas, expertise and even specific projects aimed to improve the situation in Moldova.
“At panel discussions and in focus groups we also examined the new business model of the independent press, including crowdfunding tools. This model involves either small donations or subscription, which should be an important part of income for the media outlets that want to do independent, objective journalism – a goal that is currently unachievable in our monopolized market. Specific tools are yet to be developed, but we appreciate the openness of many of the expat community representatives to the idea that the public should participate in supporting free press. The working group on the media presented several specific projects; hopefully, at least some of them will be implemented until the next offline,” said Natalia Morari.
According to the Resolution of the forum, a similar meeting will be organized in August 2017 in Chisinau.

Adoptă un Vot Community was created just before the presidential elections of October-November 2016 due to the need to mobilize to the vote the citizens of Moldova who reside abroad. Currently, the community has about 98,000 members.

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