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A paradox is witnessed in the Republic of Moldova – there are many broadcasters, but insufficient pluralism. Also, the media pluralism faces major risks. Such conclusions were reached by authors of the study “External pluralism of the mass media of the Republic of Moldova in 2015,” which was carried out by the Association of Electronic Press (APEL) with support from Soros Foundation Moldova, IPN reports.
APEL executive director Ion Bunduchi explained that internal pluralism is the diversity of sources and information presented by a media outlet, while external pluralism is the diversity presented by all the media outlets. The study conducted by APEL is an absolute novelty given that it was carried out based on methodology worked out in the EU and adjusted to the realities in Moldova.
The study, which classed the TV channels as segment of the mass media with the biggest impact on the information of children, shows the risks to the diversification of information sources are generated by the insufficiency of regulation and inefficient implementation of the existing ones. Other risks are related to the concentration of ownership and audience at national level, and lack of public policies for developing the local/regional broadcasting sector.
Study authors Ion Bunduchi and Ana Gonta said the broadcasting regulator is not protected from political or economic interference. The lack of regulations concerning the diversity of program services broadcast in national multiplexes, including Multiplex A, represents a threat to the pluralism of the categories of program services provided for the public.
The study reveals that the top three owners on terrestrial TV channels have audience and market shares that oscillate between 44% and 54%, while those that own cable and IPTV channels – between 63% and 65%. 60% of the broadcasters are concentrated in Chisinau. In 2015, the turnover of all the broadcasters came to about 316 million lei. The broadcasters working in Chisinau earned cumulatively 304 million lei (96.2%), the top three broadcasters – 173 million lei, while all the local or regional broadcasters - 12 million lei.
The study recommends stipulating media pluralism in the legislation, ensuring the implementation of the norms concerning media conglomeration and planning public measures to support local and regional broadcasters if these risk disappearing from the media landscape of the country.
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