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Public debates on return of the press into the Parliament’s meeting room

16 October 2014
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Representatives of the civil society, media outlets and the Broadcasting Coordinating Council discussed about restriction of access to the Parliament’s meeting room for mass media. Discussions took place at a public event organized on 16 October by the Independent Journalism Center with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the FHI 360 project Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society.
 
We shall mention that the current Parliament leadership and the leaders of the Parliament’s majority groups repeatedly promised to find solutions for mass media access to the meeting room, but these promises did not transform into action.
 
At the start of the event, IJC Director Nadine Gogu underlined that today’s event is a continuation of the campaign that keeps in sight everything that is happening in this segment: “And even if MPs are intensely working on the election campaign and journalists are less interested in this issue, we will still make a portfolio with our actions, which we will propose to MPs in the new Parliament in the hope that they will show more openness and will not invent various pretexts so as to not solve the problem of mass media access to the Parliament’s meeting room.”
 
During discussions, experts qualified mass media presence at Parliament’s meetings as a lesson of democracy for mass media and citizens, including for the Parliament: “Since the television appeared and entered the Parliament, wherever it could enter, transmissions from parliamentary meetings were named a ‘showcase of democracy’,” said media expert Ion Bunduchi.
 
Participants in the event also referred to the technical problems faced by media representatives in the Parliament building, such as poor video signal that cannot be controlled by journalists, periodically absent GSM signal, lack of Internet connection, insufficient space, etc.
 
The round table was attended by MP Corina Fusu, vice-president of the Parliamentary Committee for Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sport and Mass Media, who is the only Parliament representative that answered the invitation to participate in discussions. Mrs. Fusu concluded that “nothing has been done because there was no will to do so.”
 
Participants came with several proposals and recommendations that will be presented to Parliament leadership, both current and new.
The event was organized as part of the Advocacy Campaigns Aimed at Improving Transparency of Media Ownership, Access to Information and promotion of EU values  and integration , implemented by the IJC, which is, in its turn, part of the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society project, implemented by FHI 360.
The organization of this event became possible due to the generous support of the American people, offered through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The opinions expressed at the event belong to participants and might not reflect the position of the USAID or the US Government.