Journalism Trust Initiative presented in Chisinau. What this mechanism entails

On Thursday, September 21, representatives of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) presented in Chisinau the Journalism Trust Initiative, an international mechanism that rewards ethical journalism, giving media outlets the opportunity to certify their status as a reliable and qualitative source of information. Discussions took place at the workshop “Quality of the press, a guarantee for press freedom”, organized by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) in collaboration with the Paris-based organization. 

According to RSF, the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) emerged as a response to the global need to distinguish trustworthy sources of information on the media market. Bertrand Mossiat, Regional Manager in Europe for the JTI, explained that the organization asked the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to create a standard for media outlets responsible for disseminating information of public interest, following the ISO model.

130 organizations collaborated to create this standard with the aim of highlighting quality journalism. It represents a norm based on a number of evaluation criteria. “ISO standards are used in all types of industries to provide all actors and their partners with a quality guarantee for the services, products, or processes they execute. Following this model, JTI is the name of the first standard for news editors, aimed at promoting transparency, independence, and accountability of newsrooms,” Mossiat noted.

The RSF representative confirmed that this evaluation mechanism is available for all types of media outlets, from any part of the world, the main benefits being predictability and trust from advertising agencies and investors, in terms of grant offers, press service recommendation systems and, last but not least, development of media quality.


The steps of the certification process start from self-assessment of the media outlet, which provides answers to several questions related to JTI criteria. They include elements of identification of the outlet, organizational chart, contact details, editorial mission statement, sources of income, use of personal data, existence of an editorial guide, a methodology for avoiding conflicts of interest, clear distinction between the informative, advertising, or opinion nature of information, as well as other aspects. The results of the self-assessment can be made public through the JTI transparency report. The final step is to conduct an external audit by a third party.

Ziarul de Garda (ZdG) is the first media outlet in Moldova to complete the evaluation process and make public the report on the JTI website, which contains the list of media outlets that have aligned with the criteria of fairness and transparency. ZdG Director Alina Radu confirmed to Media Azi that the process took several weeks. “There are a lot of questions, but it’s not very complicated. Instead, you have the opportunity to evaluate your team once again, to see if you have all the internal codes and regulations that prove the fairness of your newsroom. We had to adjust and look at the experience of other reputable international media outlets,” Alina Radu said. At the same time, she noted that they are looking for funding and an external auditor to be able to obtain proper JTI certification.

According to RSF, more than 850 media outlets in 80 countries are already part of the JTI transparency alignment process. 125 of them chose to make the results of the self-assessment public, and 20 media outlets received JTI certification following external audit.

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