What the Law on Media Subventions Voted in the Final Reading Stipulates

The tool for subsidizing media outlets, the first one for the Republic of Moldova, was adopted in the final reading last week, with the vote of 57 deputies. According to this law, the authorities shall create a fund which is autonomous from an institutional point of view and partially financed from the state budget, for financially supporting projects and products developed by the press.

The document voted by the Parliament stipulates that the Media Subvention Fund shall be administered by a council selected by representative media organizations and shall be subordinate to the Ministry of Culture, whereas the financial resources shall be obtained from the state budget and donations, sponsorships, and grants from individuals and/or legal entities. Media outlets which will be able to benefit from these subventions shall have to comply with a number of criteria, which includes compliance with the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, operating on the market for at least one year, and not being included in the List of Interdictions for Subvention Beneficiaries.

The contest for granting subventions shall be organized annually, but it can also be held several times a year if the funds are available, according to the law. The newsrooms shall be able to apply with the projects which will comply with a list of priority topics regularly compiled by the Ministry of Culture. The winners shall be selected by the Council of Experts. It shall be a new entity consisting of seven members, four of whom shall be appointed by the Press Council following a contest, and the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, and Research and the Ministry of Finance shall be represented by one member each. The members of the Council of Experts may be appointed for five years.

Among other things, the Ministry of Culture shall have the “black list”, i.e. register which includes the data on media outlets which requested or received the money but presented false documents, unreliable data, or failed to fulfill their commitments. The law will enter into force three months after its publication in the Monitorul Oficial.

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