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Was it ‘Fake News’ or Not? BCC Rejected the Interpellation of MP Inna Supac on a News Broadcast by Publika TV

06 December 2018
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Members of the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC) rejected – with seven votes for and one against, the interpellation of the communist MP Inna Supac who asked them to take measures against Publika TV and its owner, Vlad Plahotniuc, for the dissemination of a fake news. The vote against came from BCC member Olga Gututui, who brought forward a number of arguments to her colleagues that the news was indeed fake.
Publika TV show spoke about supposed death threat of employees of the Embassy and Consulate of the Republic of Moldova in Berlin, after the expulsion of Turkish teachers from the Republic of Moldova.

BCC members discussed the case, after hearing the monitoring report in which Publika TV’s position was also included. The monitoring found that, during the show, moderator Rita Ursalovschi three times has specified that ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration neither confirmed, nor infirmed this information’.
In addition, Publika TV representatives claim that the news was of public interest, arguing that they also requested the opinion of the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Federal Republic of Germany, Oleg Serebrian, who did not exclude the fact that there could be threats against the employees of the embassy, especially on social networks.

Council member Olga Gututui, the only one who voted against, argued why she thought that Publika TV’s broadcast was indeed a fake news. According to her, the breaking news broadcast by Publika TV did not refer to any source, and the reaction of Oleg Serebrian, the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Germany, was presented with delay. Gututui also cited ‘Ziarul de Garda’ newspaper, which wrote that the German police had infirmed the information about threats, and that the Embassy of Germany in the Republic of Moldova had published on its Facebook page a message denying the information disseminated by Publika TV.
Despite these, most BCC members voted to reject Shupac’s request.

Note that earlier, Inna Supac also requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) to clarify what happened at the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Berlin on 7 September. Minister Tudor Ulianovschi answered her that in that day protests took place, but according to the information provided by Ambassador Oleg Serebrian none of the staff of the mission and members of their families did receive individual threats. ‘Oleg Serebrian, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Federal Republic of Germany, unilaterally decided to temporary suspend the activity of the diplomatic mission during the protests of that day’, Minister’s letter said.