IFJ Broadcasting Campaign Backs Moldova Journalists in Struggle for Media Independence

The International Federation of Journalists today gave its backing to action by up to 500 Moldavian journalists and media workers who are taking industrial action in their campaign for independent and democratic media.

A series of work-to-rule protests have followed a declaration demanding media freedom issued by journalists from the national broadcaster TeleRadio Moldova last month and supported by the Journalists Union of Moldova.

The Committee for Press Solidarity, bringing together different groups, has also backed the campaign for demands for independence in media in Moldova, particularly in the country's broadcasting system.

"This campaign has hardly had any international attention, but it reflects a widening sense of frustration throughout the region about continuing governmental control over state media," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

Journalists are calling for democratisation of the national broadcaster TeleRadio Moldova. They accuse the government of manipulating the main national media and they demand the reorganisation of the national Broadcasting Council.

Staff at TeleRadio Moldova have, since the first days of March, carried out daily protests against systematic censorship and attempts of the government to have a total control over the national broadcasting company. They claim the authorities put pressure on journalists and editors in order to "brainwash the population" and to "provide skewed coverage" of news. In response, the Moldavian authorities have deployed armed military forces around broadcasting building in the capital Chisinau.

"Once again, politicians desperate to keep control on the media are resorting to intimidation and threats," said Aidan White. "Nothing can justify this approach. We demand that Moldova creates a genuinely independent system of public broadcasting in line with European and international standards".