During the meeting held on November 28, the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova examined several journalistic reports and found a number of breaches of the Code of Conduct. Some cases were examined as a result of complaints filed by the persons concerned, and in other cases, the Council made the decision to examine such cases on its own initiative. For instance, in the case of the publication of images containing scenes of violence against a minor girl in Ialoveni district, the members of the Press Council noted with concern that in spite of their appeals to media outlets, the latter continued to breach the Code of Conduct for the sake of visualization.
The Press Council took a stand on this case and notified 10 websites that it would examine how these outlets reported about the incident.
According to the Council, the video in question contains explicit scenes of violence, degrading behavior, and has a negative impact on children.
Thus, the members of this self-regulatory structure of the media found that the journalists who had published the full video had breached the provisions of the Code of Conduct, which obliges the journalist to protect the identity of minors involved in events which have negative connotations. According to the Code, such video and photos must be modified to protect the identity of minors, and the journalist is supposed to respect the privacy and dignity of other persons.
The Council members noted that the record contained enough data that could help identify the people who appeared in the video. In this regard, the Council recommended all the media outlets which had published the record to delete it from their websites.
The Press Council also announced that it would inform the Broadcasting Coordinating Council and the State Agency for Protection of Morality on this case to find the breaches of legal provisions by the media in question.
Besides, the Council will also notify the child’s lawyer about this case, asking them to monitor the situation.
During the debates, the members of the Council also recalled how such records had become available to the press. They decided to notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs, too, and ask the latter to check how the press could get these videos that were in the custody of the police.
The members of the Press Council stressed that they undertook all those steps so that the media could realize that such publications affected the lives of children and breached the legislation on the protection of children against the negative impact of information.
We would like to mention that the news about physical aggression against and alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl committed by a group of people in Ialoveni district originally appeared on the Telegraph.md news portal. According to the portal, the video footage had been sent to Telegraph.md by a young girl who presented herself as a friend of the victim.
In a press release of November 5, the General Police Inspectorate also informs that the incident took place in the night of October 24-25 in Ialoveni district, and that the police were notified of it on 4 November by a citizen who sent a video with the case of violence mentioned above.