The media are a favourite toy of the Moldovan parties. Many television channels and news portals are openly or covertly linked to parties and the independent press is looked down on. Therefore, it is not surprising that two-thirds of Moldovans are convinced that the press is politically controlled.
It is true that citizens retain doubts about what they see on television or read on the internet. The media are used to discredit opposition politicians or independent judges who have become annoying or to propagate their own political reforms. The respected NGO Freedom House therefore dubs Moldova's media as only partially free. The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for the autumn, and I assume that freedom of the press will continue to decline. Recently, the government has cracked down on Russian news programmes. Even if this is a step in the right direction, independent voices fear that the fight against Russian propaganda will only serve as a pretext for the political elite to continue to follow their own interests. A truly free press is an important part of any democracy. In order to achieve that in Moldova, we must continue to fight.
Source: Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Focus Human Rights 11/2017
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