Trust in the media has been dropping, Freedom House

The media sector is still one of the most influential pillars in Moldovan society, ranking only behind the Orthodox Church and mayors in terms of public trust. However, trust in media has been dropping. This change is due mainly to the politicization and concentration of outlets in the hands of oligarchs as well as their struggle for dominance fought through the media. Over 80 percent of TV stations are owned by Moldovan politicians or people close to political parties, according to Freedom House’s annual report Nations in Transit 2017, IPN reports, quoting

The report covers 29 post-Communist countries from Central Europe up to Central Asia and is based on seven main indicators: National Democratic Governance; Electoral Process; Civil Society; Independent Media; Local Democratic Governance; Judicial Framework and Independence, and Corruption. The state of affairs is analyzed based on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means best situation, while 7 worst.

The Independent Media indicator in Moldova is below the country index, standing at 5. Ukraine and Georgia have a better score in this regard, of 4.

The report says the current Broadcasting Code, enacted in 2006, remained outdated and bloated with amendments -104 in just 10 years. In July 2016, the Parliament finally voted in the first reading on a new draft code that had been pending for a year. However, most media institutions and experts claim the new bill (drafted in 2011) already needs to be updated because it does not deal with problems like digitization, advertising, and foreign propaganda.

Online media played an important but also flawed role in the election campaign prior to the presidential elections. On the one hand, it helped mobilize people to vote. On the other, it was used as a tool of manipulation and propaganda. The score for the Moldovan media is 5.

Moldova got a Democracy Score of 4.93 in Nations in Transit 2017, as opposed to 4.89 a year ago. It was bettered by Ukraine and Georgia, with scores of 4.61, but outstripped other ex-Soviet states such as Russia (6.67), Belarus (6.61) and Armenia (5.39).

The country report on Moldova was compiled by media and political researcher Victor Gotisan.

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