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New criticism of Teleradio-Moldova. A BC member after the presentation of the annual report of the public company: “Why does the audiovisual production of Moldova 1 feel archaic?”

16 February 2021
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Some members of the Broadcasting Council (BC) have criticized the work of the management of the public company Teleradio-Moldova (TRM) at a meeting on February 16, where they examined the company’s report for 2020 and the report of TRM’s Supervisory Board (SB). BC member Larisa Manole claimed that TRM’s report does not reflect the real state of affairs, and expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the media products broadcast by Moldova 1 television station.   Having examined the report, the BC decided to organize joint meetings with TRM managers in order to see the real situation and identify solutions to eventual problems. None of TRM representatives was present at the meeting or replied to phone calls to comment on the criticism. The SB president Violeta Cojocaru says that TRM’s managers and her colleagues from the SB should have been invited to this meeting officially.

TRM’s report, which has over 120 pages, provides details about the work of each department of the public company, information about the implementation of several projects, production of programs, technical equipment, procurement, budget execution, and other issues. According to the legal procedure, the report was sent to BC members for examination. No representative of the TRM’s administration was present or participated online in the BC meeting where the report was analyzed.

In the absence of the TRM administration, BC member Larisa Manole, who previously worked for Teleradio-Moldova, criticized the quality of the public company’s products, blaming its administration. “I came to the conclusion that public television is doing great. It simply lives well: the studios are renovated, the employees are satisfied, the work assignment is almost done. Then tell me, please, why I as a viewer – and I think there are others like me – immediately take the remote control and I don’t watch Moldova 1? Why does the audiovisual product, although we have seen many new projects made last year, often feel archaic? How can the provincialism of public television be explained? What does public television lack to produce competitive and attractive shows? (...) Maybe journalists, maybe talented directors and producers, maybe high-performance equipment, or maybe, and I tend to believe that this is the real reason, adequate company management,” said Larisa Manole after the presentation of the report.

“IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL ON PAPER”

In this context, the BC member said that some decisions approved by the Supervisory Board are not in their competence, but should be made by editorial staff. One of the decisions referred to by Larisa Manole is the one by which the editorial offices of TRM should register invitations to programs, addressed to representatives of political parties, with the press services of those parties.

The BC president Ala Ursu-Antoci also questioned the achievements listed in the TRM report. She proposed that, in the next two months, a joint meeting be organized with the administration of the public company and the members of the SB to see the real situation and find solutions. “It looks beautiful on paper, but I want to understand if the objectives that TRM had set for 2020 have been achieved and if they have objectives for 2021,” said Ala Ursu-Antoci.

The BC president also suggested that the SB meetings should be broadcast live.

In this context, another member of the BC, Artur Cozma, said that civil society should also be involved in the dialogue with TRM.

REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD

Contacted by Media Azi, the SB President Violeta Cojocaru mentioned that the BC should have invited company representatives, once they formulated certain objections and questions. “When I saw on the website the announcement of the hearing of the report three days before it, I was really surprised that we were not invited,” said Violeta Cojocaru.

As for Larisa Manole’s remark regarding communication with political parties, the president of the Supervisory Board replied that this decision is legal and was adopted so that the institution could have conclusive evidence of the invitations to participate in programs and more. “This decision was made based on an address from the chairman of the Pro Moldova parliamentary group [Andrian Candu – editor’s note] and the response formulated by Teleradio-Moldova. Taking into account the fact that the SB also approves the Regulation on the organization and functioning of the national public media service provider and it may prescribe certain mandatory measures to the director general – to bring clarity into the messaging with external beneficiaries of the services of Teleradio-Moldova – we believe that the decision was perfectly legal and correct,” commented Violeta Cojocaru.

Asked about the transparency of meetings, Violeta Cojocaru mentioned that, currently, they take place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, through communication applications. According to her, the company does not yet have proper space to ensure the presence of a large number of people in a single room while observing protection measures.
Neither the TRM Director General Olga Bordeianu, nor the deputy directors responsible for TV and radio answered our phone calls during the day.