Moldova Ruling Party Bans Opposition Media From Briefings

Moldova’s ruling Democratic Party, PD, has cancelled the press accreditation of the main pro-opposition TV station, Jurnal TV, without a offering a real reason.

Reporters from another TV station, TV8, were banned several weeks ago from PD headquarters for the weekly press briefing, held usually every Thursday, under the pretext that it is a private space in which no one may enter without permission.

The speaker of parliament and PD vice-president Andrian Candu said the bans had been issued because of the partial and biased reporting by these media outlets on PD activities.

The director of the Independent Press Association, Petru Macovei, told BIRN that the bans clearly contradict the European values allegedly promoted by the ostensibly pro-EU party.

“It is a brutal violation of the rights and freedom of the press. In my opinion, this is sending a message to the media that things will not stop here. I think the list of bans will go on,” he said.

Macovei added that media outlets deemed uncomfortable by the ruling party are already suffering economic consequences, as the media advertising market in the country is almost monopolized by the PD-affiliated media.

Cornelia Cozonac, director of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Chisinau, called for a general boycott of PD press briefings from now on.

“If this is a private space, why do they talk there about public affairs?” Cozonac asked on Facebook. She added that if the PD headquarters was a private place, the party should stop issuing any public initiatives from it.

A recent Freedom House report, Nations in Transit 2018, gives Moldova a “partially free” press ranking.

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