‘Due to their work in a less friendly environment for a fair and professional journalism, certain good faith media outlets in Moldova started to invent and apply their own and various methods of managing the editorial office activity, of interacting with the public or promoting. In order to make these good practices better known by young journalists and editorial offices that want to improve their work, we decided to explore the main ‘tricks’ applied by professionals in the country and to publish them in a synthesis work’, Viorica Zaharia, Media Expert and Press Council Chair, mentioned in the introduction of the ‘Good Practice in the Moldovan Journalism’ Guidelines.
The examples of good practice were explained and commented by the editorial office managers. Mold-street.com, for instance, publishes its property document and has its own Code of Ethics and Integrity, TV8 has an election conduct document, Agora.md and Unimedia.info apply error reporting tools, Ziarul de Garda, Newsmaker.md or RISE.md present to their readers annual reports about their activity and donors, and Realitatea press group includes ethical duties in reporters’ job descriptions.
The paper also includes some recommendations, e.g. disclose donor information, to prove the transparency and good faith of the editorial office; develop internal guidelines that would guide reporters how to behave on social networks, and how to deal with topics such as terrorism, extremism, or other issues that become a priority on the media agenda during certain periods; train editorial staff in fact-checker function that could also be exercised by rotation/shifts, etc.
The ‘Good Practice in the Moldovan Journalism’ Guidelines can be downloaded from the Press Council’s website, Media Self-Regulation/Guidelines and Publications section, direct access here.
The Guidelines 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 and Freedom House. Its purpose is to promote the development of the independent and professional media and to build a media sector that is more resilient to political and economic pressure.