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Reporters Without Borders: Moldova Downgraded by 36 Positions in the Last Six Years Regarding Press Freedom

18 April 2019
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According to a press release published on 18 April by RSF, Report of ‘Reporters without Borders’ (‘Reporters sans Frontieres’) (RSF) organisation on 2019 Press Freedom Index places the Republic of Moldova 91st out of 180 monitored countries.
Note that from 2013 till present, media freedom in our country has been decreasing freely: in 2017 Moldova ranked 80th in the RSF top, in 2016 – it ranked 76th, in 2015 Moldova ranked 72nd, in 2014 it was 56th while in 2013 – 55th. Thus, in the last six years the Republic of Moldova downgraded by 36 positions.

The RSF report also mentions the main causes that led to this situation: the fact that the editorial policy of Moldovan media is influenced by the political and business interests of the owners of media outlets, as proved by 2019 election campaign. According to RSF, independence of journalists, quality of the media and concentration of the media ownership are other issues of the Moldovan media sector.
The authors of the report also refer to the lack of independence of the broadcasting regulating authority, which still raises concerns, especially in circumstances of a polarised society where media outlets also struggle with each other.
Overall, the report describes the media landscape in the Republic of Moldova as diverse, but extremely polarised.
Among the post-Soviet countries, Estonia (11th place), Latvia (24th) and Lithuania (30th) have better positions in the RSF ranking. Georgia (60th place), Armenia (61st) and Kyrgyzstan (83rd) score higher than Moldova. Ukraine follows Moldova, ranking 102th. A much worse situation regarding the freedom of the media was registered in other post-Soviet countries. Thus, Russia ranks 149th, Belarus – 153th, Uzbekistan – 160th. Tajikistan and Azerbaijan rank 161st and 166th, respectively, while the ranking ends with Turkmenistan– it ranks 180th.   
Globally, the RSF report notes an tightening hostility towards journalists, which often turns into violence, and this evokes fear among the media representatives. According to the report, the number of countries that can be rated as favourable for journalistic activity is decreasing. At the same time, authoritarian regimes continue to advance their influence on the media.
‘The danger to the model of democratic society is growing, while political discourse, sometimes hardly discernible, in other cases – obvious, leads to an atmosphere of a civil war, where journalists play the role of scapegoats’ said Secretary General of RSF Christophe Deloire, quoted in the press release.
The official added that people of good will who respect individual freedoms, have the obligation to stop this mechanism of fear.
For the third year, Norway still ranks the first in this ranking, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Reporters Without Borders, an international non-profit NGO, presents reports on the state of media freedom in the world since 2002. RSF creates this annual index, highlighting the violence committed against journalists and collecting analyses of journalists, lawyers and researchers around the world. The NGO assesses pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-cenzorship, the legal framework, transparency and so on.