special correspondent at Radio Moldova Actualitati, moderator of talk show Loc de Dialog (Room for Dialogue)
I have been a parliamentary reporter for the national radio station Radio Moldova since 1998. In the beginning, we have always enjoyed free direct access to the meeting hall of Parliament, which was viewed as normal not only by my fellows, but also by the MPs. It is no longer the case though; the things have degraded substantially. We, the journalists accredited at Parliament, have to get information about the Parliamen’t work without direct access to MPs, stuck in a stuffy room; we feel isolated, discriminated and humiliated.
Our fellows working for TV and radio stations, as well as for online media are most constrained. Whenever one is expected to prepare a piEce of news, he never knows if he will manage to approach one MP or another to get the statements he needs. Although there is a special room where MPs can make press statements, it does not help much. The statements are often incomplete, one does not get the position of other factions on a certain topic or the MPs just avoid talking to us. After a number of failed attempts of the leadership of Parliament to find a solution, some of the journalists accredited at Parliament just refuse to come to Parliament, because they are humiliated there.
Also, it is disturbing that the MPs force certain behaviour upon the media. The journalists must show solidarity here and insist on the protection of their right to do their job properly and inform the public.
NOTE: the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) holds awareness raising events under the slogan ‘We Want Access into Parliament!’ on all days when Parliament holds plenary meetings. The Campaign aims to ensure free access of the media to Parliament meetings, so that the media can freely perform their duties.
The We Want into Parliament! campaign is conducted within the Advocacy Campaigns Aimed at Improving Transparency of Media Ownership, Access to Information and Promotion of EU Values and Integration project, implemented by the IJC, which is, in its turn, part of the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society project, implemented by FHI 360.