The BC Publicly Warns Jurnal TV Following a Petition Filed by Colonel Vitalie Grabovski

The Broadcasting Council (BC) publicly warned Jurnal TV following a petition filed by Vitalie Grabovski, Head of Chisinau Municipality Exceptional Situation Department. The colonel claims he was slandered by the TV channel by broadcasting the information he affirms is false and according to which “he was involved in the cigarette smuggling scheme at the Dubasari branch.” The decision was made on Monday, November 21.

The BC stated that, when broadcasting the reports on Vitalie Grabovski, Jurnal TV failed to present the opinions of those concerned in a balanced way. “The presence of the main opposite points of view contributes to providing correct information for audiovisual media service consumers,” the BC press release states.

Therefore, the BC publicly warned Jurnal TV for breaching the provisions of Art. 13 para. (6) a) of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services stipulating that “the following requirements shall be observed in news, debates, information on matters of public political, economic, social or cultural interest, audiovisual programmes: a) ensuring impartiality, balance and favouring the free formation of opinions, by presenting the main opposing views when the issues are publicly debated.”

On July 26, 2022, Val Butnaru, the TV channel administrator, was fined by the court and was also deprived of the right to administer the institution for six months. The contravention procedure was initiated after Vitalie Grabovski who had been mentioned in a material produced by the TV channel filed a complaint with Buiucani Sector Police Inspectorate, claiming he had been slandered. Also on July 26, 2022, the police issued another report based on the same article of the Contravention Code, “Slander,” thus fulfilling the request filed by the two other protagonists mentioned in the Jurnal TV materials.

Previously, media NGOs have criticized the practices of such contraventions as slander for intimidating the press.

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