MOLDOVA: Radio station Antena C and the local TV station Euro TV - Molodva

MOLDOVA, 19/12/2006

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe, and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the recent developments in connection with the local radio station Antena C, and the local TV station Euro TV, both run by the Chisinau Municipal Council.

According to information provided to SEEMO, on 14 December, the Chisinau Municipal Council decided to put Antena C and Euro TV up for tender and to dismiss the directors of both institutions. The two broadcasters are being privatized as outlined in the new broadcasting code. In reaction to this decision, journalists at both stations began an organized protest on 15 December.

SEEMO urges all those involved in the process of reorganization to find an equitable solution that ensures the normal functioning of both media. It is important for every country to have local electronic media that provide citizens with access to comprehensive and impartial information. SEEMO is especially concerned about the interruption of the broadcasting signal of Antena C on 16 December, during a radio debate about current developments at the station.

"I agree with the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O'Neill, that it is curious that such a technical problem arose during a debate about problems at the radio station Antena C", said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General. Vujovic added that he is very worried about the recent developments in the Chisinau local electronic media.  "I would like everyone to remember that free and independent media are crucial to the democratic development in any country. A plurality of voices is an essential element of every society".

SEEMO also calls on the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to ensure that the new members of Teleradio Moldova 's Supervisory Board will be selected transparently, based on professional experience.

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