The Burden of Credibility Insolvency

The other week, the Romanian TV station ended its activity, after about 18 years of broadcasting. The shut down came after the National Audiovisual Council of Romania, an equivalent of the Coordinating Audiovisual Council from Chișinău, did not renew the license of this TV post due to an incomplete application. 

“Specifically, Reality Media, which has been insolvent for eight years, does not have an approved reorganization plan, it has not been able to submit the fiscal certificate,” wrote paginademedia.ro.

I regret when a media institution closes, but I’m glad to hear that the standards are being applied somewhere. It is rather curious, Realitatea TV has been insolvent for eight years and does not have a solution plan? 

If we recall it correctly, nine years ago the same Realitatea TV from Romania stood at the foundation of Publika TV in Moldova. Cosmin Gușă, the owner of the Realitatea TV in Bucharest  in insolvency for eight years, ventured to create another one in Chișinău.  

The lack of transparency of media funding should be considered as important a problem as the lack of transparency of party funding. 

The Coordinating Audiovisual Council in Chișinău seems not to hold too many discussions about financing. Moreover, although there are acts, statements and requests of the Council not to admit the concentration of media ownership, this is precisely what seems to be happening now under the auspices of the Coordinating Audiovisual Council.

The much-disputed Perviy Kanal of the Russian Federation, full of media products with acts of violence, intolerance, interethnic, racial and gender hatred, is currently transferred from fugitive oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc to President Igor Dodon, changing its name from Prime to First in Moldova. 

It is obvious, as the change takes place, that the interests are financial. However, it is veiled behind the lack of transparency of the financing of these posts and the lack of transparency in the actions of the Coordinating Audiovisual Council.

Yesterday, the media NGOs from Chișinău issued a statement that expresses concern about the concentration of media ownership in the Moldova, once the Audiovisual Council has adopted two recent decisions that facilitate the consolidation of the media holding company affiliated to the Socialist Party, through companies and individuals close to this political party.

This Moldovan-Russian media partnership under political auspices is an unacceptable act in an E.U. partner state, which receives money from European taxpayers specifically to fight corruption and the lack of transparency. 

We will monitor the Audiovisual Council’s reaction to these accusations, though it is not the only thing to be monitored in the decisions of this council.

“As far as I understand, we belong to Dodon now,” an employee of the Moldova 1 Public Television has told me recently. 

Well, I have long observed that the head of the state is favourably presented in many reports and news, and there is hardly any material criticizing him, but I thought that maybe I didn’t follow the news carefully, maybe certain experts will make some relevant and unbiased evaluations. 

No, there hasn’t been much of the kind. And the way the journalist said “We belong to Dodon now” made me really sad.

In addition to the fact that Moldova 1 is a publicly funded television, many journalists have fought for many years to depoliticize this institution. Many reporters have been fired and even have sued the administration for abusive dismissals. They did not obey the political orders, many of them protested, some even went on hunger strike in order to keep this source of information out of politics. 

All those who now accept political games on Moldova 1 have abandoned that struggle. The last few months have made it clear that even the most feared media magnate has failed.

Vladimir Plahotniuc, former leader of the Democratic Party and a fugitive oligarch is also the former owner of the Publika TV. 

Why would the Audiovisual Council and some leaders of media, as well as the journalists, accept to feed the pride of a media magnate? Why would they accept to feed the public with party truths until they run out of audience? 

Perhaps because they did not understand that people leave these channels; more than that, they leave the state with such channels. And, one day, these TV stations will eventually go into insolvency, but not just financially. The burden of credibility insolvency weighs heavily on a journalist.

Alina RADU, alina.radu@zdg.md

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