On July 26, at the invitation of Andrian Kandu, Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, BBSA Vice Chair of the Board Alex Grigorievs participated in the public hearing “Challenges of the media field in the Republic of Moldova – Propaganda and local production” at Moldova’s Parliament.
The discussion focused on the new audiovisual law debated in Moldova, and its most controversial provisions, that would allow the Moldovan authorities to ban retranslation of foreign channels by local TV channels. They would also be obliged to allocate at least 80% of airing time to locally produced programs. The discussion at the hearing has highlighted two different approaches to Russian weaponized use of media: Western and Eastern European. Western European institutional approach appears to be based on a lack of appreciation of the dangers and scope of Russian weaponization of the media and West European speakers advocated the point of view that the best remedy against Russian “propaganda” is just good journalism. Eastern European experts from Moldova, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary and Latvia demonstrated that in the Russian can we deal with quasi media outlets and quasi journalists, abusing the freedom of expression and other liberal freedoms.
Alex Grigorievs emphasized that in some cases misunderstood political correctness leads to major lies and confuses the public. For example, Russian troops that are in Moldova against the will of the country’s government are, for some reason, called peace keepers and the territory they hold is called Republic of Transnistria. They are occupying force, and the occupied territory will not hold one day without them. Likewise, people working in “Russia Today” are still for no obvious reason called journalists. Politicians owe it to their voters to tell the truth instead of politically correct confusing lies.