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TRM Ombudsman: The programs Moldova în Direct, Butonul Roșu, and Bună Seara on Moldova 1 “show the same people”

15 February 2021
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The programs Moldova în Direct [Moldova Live], Butonul Roșu [Red Button], and Bună Seara [Good Evening] on the public television station Moldova 1 “invite the same protagonists” and cover “mainly political topics,” according to Carmelia Albu, the ombudsman of Teleradio-Moldova (TRM) company. The mediator between consumers and the public company presented her opinion at a meeting of the TRM’s Supervisory Board (SB) during the presentation of the activity report for 2020.

Carmelia Albu, who is also responsible for monitoring the programs of the television station Moldova 1 and Radio Moldova in terms of compliance with professional ethics and promotion of public interest, found that “the editorial gaps previously noted by the public and the ombudsman decreased in 2020.”

However, the ombudsman had some objections regarding the broadcasting schedule of the public television Moldova 1. At the meeting, she reminded of an address she made in February 2020 about the programs Moldova în Direct, Butonul Roșu, and Bună Seara, which, in her opinion, “are based on the same production concept.”

“These programs show the same people. There must be a difference – a political talk show, a debate, or a program discussing education, health, and culture. This difference is necessary for the viewer to have a clear idea: at a certain hour, they watch a political program, at another hour – a health program. The three programs – Moldova în Direct, Butonul Roșu, and Bună Seara – are focused solely on political issues. I mean, the country lives with other problems, too,” said Carmelia Albu.

She recommended the company’s managers to review the concept of program production in order to make variety in the topics addressed, so that Moldova 1 could offer to viewers media products focused on culture, society, and economy issues, too.

Carmelia Albu claims she also discussed this with the Teleradio-Moldova Director General Olga Bordeianu, who was not present at the meeting.

Violeta Cojocaru [SB president] suggested to the ombudsman to monitor the impact of these observations and whether the company’s management took them into account.

The report also refers to some observations related to live broadcasts and other media products, borrowed from other media outlets. “The footage, press releases, texts borrowed from other media reduce the credibility and veracity of the information presented by TRM,” the report says.

Carmelia Albu also drew the attention of the company’s management to the need for “responsiveness and promptness in the coverage of events of public interest.”

Representing the TRM administration, the meeting was attended by the deputy director general of Teleradio-Moldova responsible for Radio Moldova, Veaceslav Gheorghisenco, who did not have any comments to the issues addressed. Representatives of Moldova 1, however, did not attend. Contacted by Media Azi, Ecaterina Stratan, deputy director of TRM for public television, did not answer phone calls.

At the end of the meeting, the Supervisory Board members officially took note of the findings and recommendations made by Carmelia Albu.