Moldova Media-M program
Freedom House is a proud partner of Internews in implementing the multi-year MEDIA-M project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK Aid.
Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova
Freedom House is a proud partner of Internews in implementing the multi-year Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK Aid. Through collaboration with partner civil society organizations in the country, Freedom House aims to boost capacity in civil society to effectively monitor media and to improve the legal and regulatory environment for independent media. Freedom House’s activities address objective 2, which strives to build consumer understanding of independent, reliable, and high quality news, and objective 3, which intends to foster a regulatory environment in which independent media and media support organizations can thrive.
Access to Information Report
First Edition: November 2021
Access to information is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of Moldova and the country’s legislation. However, the Moldovan government has not ensured the effective implementation of this right, failing to establish adequate legislative requirements that clearly define the content authorities must share, or to properly justify restrictions on information access. These are among the most significant conclusions of Freedom House’s new special report Freedom of Information Index: Measuring Transparency of Public Institutions in Moldova. This first annual report, published in November 2021, represents the first comprehensive review of the state of access to information in Moldova, and draws on an original methodological approach inspired by international standards and best practices.
Second Edition: November 2022
The second annual Access to Information report uses the same methodological approach to measure the change in the performance of public institutions in ensuring the right to information and introduces a new chapter on the progress of the Moldovan government in implementing the Tromsø Convention. The report’s results reveal that the legislation and implementation of the right of information in Moldova continue to come short of international standards and best practices. Systemic deficiencies in the disclosure of public information as well as inadequate institutional compliance threaten government accountability and require a comprehensive legislative framework that prioritizes proactive transparency and stronger, coordinated enforcement mechanisms.
Report on Media Freedom in Moldova 2020
In 2020, the legal framework governing Moldova’s media sector remained underdeveloped and poorly enforced, and prominent politicians regularly stonewalled journalists’ attempts to obtain information of public interest, including as relates to the pandemic. These are a few conclusions of Freedom House’s new Report on Media in Moldova, which draws on analysis and data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World and Nations in Transit publications covering events from 2020. Read the full report here.
Strategic Litigation for Freedom of Access to Information
Freedom House partner Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) defends freedom of access to public interest information in Moldova’s courts, targeting state institutions which refuse to provide information of public record. Each of LHR’s legal victories has a life beyond the specifics of the given cases, creating important legal precedents that will continue to govern the behavior of government agencies far into the future.
LHR’s Vreauinfo.md platform aims to facilitate submission of FOIA requests by journalists and other members of Moldovan society. The platform engages citizens to make use of Moldova’s Access to Information Act by helping to lower the barriers that prevent citizens from requesting information from those in power.
Media Policy Forum
This year, the Media Policy Forum was a component of Media Forum 2022, held by Freedom House and the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova on November 22-23, 2022. At the event, experts representing Moldovan civil society, independent media, government, academic institutions, and the international community discussed the latest developments in Moldova’s media landscape including the transparency of public institutions, challenges of wartime journalism, and harassment of journalists.
Media Forum 2022 was made possible by the support of the Soros Foundation–Moldova and by USAID and the British Embassy in Chisinau through the MEDIA-M program, which is implemented by Internews in partnership with Freedom House and the Independent Journalism Center.
Freedom House’s panel discussion featured a presentation of the findings of the second report on access to information and offered the opportunity for experts to examine obstacles to the freedom of information in Moldova.
Advocacy Grants: Media Freedom Matters
Freedom House and partners provide small advocacy grants to local organizations to improve their ability to raise awareness about the legal and regulatory environment for media. Campaigns may include swift responses to proposed legislation threatening fundamental freedoms or longer-term advocacy initiatives to educate the public about freedom of expression and press freedom.
The competition for the current round of Media Freedom Matters grants is now open. To learn more about this round, please click here. Applications must be received by 23:59 EST on January 17, 2022.
Media Forward Policy Briefs
The 2022 competition for the tenth round of “Media Forward” policy brief authors is now open. To learn more about this round, please click here. Applications must be received by 23:59 EST on October 14, 2022.
Freedom of Expression and the Geopolitical Stalemate: Defending Digital Spaces in the Republic of Moldova
Moldova, like its neighbors in the region, faces challenges and threats to its national security due to the pervasive nature of media and information manipulation instigated by both internal and external actors. This challenge is particularly acute in digital spaces, where misinformation and polarized debate fomented by trolls and other impersonators seriously undercut the security and integrity of the public’s access to objective information. This toxic informational environment also fosters high levels of hate speech. This policy brief by local expert Victoria Rosa examines the trends and proliferation of freedom of expression online in Moldova, as well as the most acute challenges and threats, with an emphasis on information security. The brief examines the current legislative framework governing information security in Moldova, as well as the important efforts by civil society organizations (CSOs) to identify and draw attention to disinformation and fake news in the country’s digital space. It concludes with targeted recommendations for government, civil society, and the media community.
Reform of Oversight Mechanisms: Bolstering Media Freedom in Moldova
Freedom House engages top international experts to provide analysis and support to ensure that Moldovan frameworks uphold the highest standards for freedom of expression. Freedom House’s Local Representative, Tatiana Puiu, co-chaired the Parliamentary Working Group on audiovisual legislation, which concluded activities in December 2019. The working group contributed to several pieces of legislation that have passed into law, including the National Concept of Media Development, the Law on Attracting Investment for Film and Other Audiovisual Works Production, the Audiovisual Media Services Code and the Information Security Concept.
Media Forward Policy Briefs
The Society-Wide Battle Against Disinformation in Moldova
Informational Space in the Transnistrian Region - Media that Divides or Unites?
Victoria Rosa’s policy brief examines the closed media environment in the Transnistrian region of Moldova in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the so-called presidential election in 2021, looking at how the region’s authorities use the media to advance their own political agenda of self-determination.
Designing Effective Online Regulation for Moldova: Lessons and Best Practices from Abroad
Alexei Marciuc's brief examines trends in the regulation of the online environment in Moldova, considering the extent to which the country complies with international norms connected to freedom of expression, dissemination of information, and balanced monitoring of online content.
Regulation and Self-Regulation: Two Pieces of the Puzzle for a Healthy Media Landscape in Moldova
Radu Mirza’s brief critically examines the existing regulatory framework for media in Moldova and the interplay between state oversight and self-regulatory mechanisms, underscoring the need for new forms of multi-stakeholder cooperation on media regulation.
Media Policy in a Pandemic: Lessons from Moldova, Ukraine and Latvia
Authors Anastasia Nani, Lolita Buka, and Gina Lentine examine and compare government approaches to media policy in Moldova, Latvia, and Ukraine in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting independent media’s crucial role in contributing to an effective national health crisis response.
Privacy and Freedom of Expression in Moldova: A Dangerous Imbalance for Journalists
COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Media Freedom in Moldova
Veaceslav (Slava) Balan's and Vladyslav Stegniy's brief analyzes the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on media freedom in Moldova, highlighting the troubling new opportunities the pandemic has provided authorities to stifle the press and the new burdens it has placed on independent media outlets.
Why Access to Information is Still a Problem in Moldova
The Fourth Estate in the Making: Regulation and Reform of Media in Moldova
The Mixed Electoral System: A New Challenge for Audiovisual Media in Moldova
"Moldnet" and the 2019 Parliamentary Elections
Igor Fomin’s brief analyzes the current landscape of online media that targets Moldova’s Russian-speaking populations, highlighting the important role of this media in influencing Moldovan popular opinion ahead of and during the 2019 Parliamentary elections.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
Transnistria's Media in Times of Change
A new brief by Sergei Zveagintsev analyzes the how media in Transnistria remains under the control of powerful political interests. Infighting between elites in recent years has completely redrawn the media landscape, shuttering some publications and changing editorial lines.