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TRM Ombudsman: In June 2019, Moldova 1 did not promptly demonstrate that it is, actually, a public broadcaster

07 August 2020
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The public television station Moldova 1 did not present in a professional and ethical manner the events of June 2019, when the power transition from the former democratic government to the majority coalition of PSRM-ACUM took place, says Carmelia Albu, ombudsman for the public broadcasting company Teleradio-Moldova (TRM). The mediator between consumers and the public broadcaster gave this comment at the August 7 meeting of the Supervisory Board, during the presentation of the activity report for last year.

The TRM Ombudsman, who receives and analyzes complaints from TV viewers and radio listeners, monitored last year’s media products of the public television to determine whether violations of ethics were committed. At the meeting, she noted in particular faults in informing the public about the events of June 8.

“Teleradio did not promptly demonstrate that it is, actually, a public broadcaster. When events were taking place in the Parliament, when the top institutions of the Republic of Moldova were set up, the station, unfortunately, did not broadcast images or reports in line with the viewers’ expectations. Moreover, some television stations that fully covered those events showed the images broadcast by Teleradio-Moldova, which was airing a concert at the time,” said Carmelia Albu, noting that she was speaking only about the TV station, not the radio.

At the same time, she noted the “lack of pluralism in some places.” “Deontological violations must generally be avoided, because TV viewers and radio listeners punish severely, by losing trust,” she added.

In this context, Albu recommended the company’s management to establish an annual award for employees, “a kind of Oscar,” in order to motivate them to respect journalistic ethics.

Ecaterina Stratan, in 2019: “I showed all sides”

The director of Moldova 1 Ecaterina Stratan was absent from the online meeting and did not comment on the ombudsman’s speech. According to the SB secretary, she was not present for technical reasons.

Previously, the subject was discussed both by the broadcasting regulator and at the parliamentary level. In July last year, the members of the Broadcasting Council publicly warned TRM for the way it reported the events that took place on June 8-9, 2019.

Earlier, some members of the parliamentary commission for the media demanded the resignation of the TRM administration because Moldova 1 did not react adequately to inform citizens about political developments in that period. After that meeting, the TRM administration issued a public appeal stating that the TV station had become the target of a denigration campaign and that it had been wrongly accused.

In June 2019, Ecaterina Stratan rejected the criticism of several viewers who were dissatisfied with the way the station informed the public. In her opinion, those who considered that Moldova 1 did not sufficiently cover the events, most likely, rushed to conclusions. “I showed all sides,” she told Media Azi at the time.

We asked Ecaterina Stratan to reply this time, too, but she did not answer our calls.


foto: captură Moldova 1/ Directoarea TV la Moldova 1, Ecaterina Stratan, iunie 2019