On June 13th, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vladimir Plahotniuc, announced about the initiative to secure the informational space from the external vulnerabilities by eliminating the propaganda retransmitted by foreign TV channels in Moldova.
During a press briefing, the Democrat oligarch stressed about the importance of finding adequate internal solutions to protect the citizens from the foreign misinformation, especially the Russian propaganda:
“The Republic of Moldova is vulnerable to media campaigns of manipulation from outside. I mean especially some information shows broadcast by some TV channels from the Russian Federation. Often, this content has serious elements of defamation towards our country, but also our development partners from the European Union or from the USA. False information is being spread, which cannot be checked day by day because of the huge load of work and it very best packaging”, says Plahotniuc who owns Prime TV that partially retransmitts the Russian “Pervyi Kanal”.
According to him and the Parliament speaker Andrian Candu, not all foreign programs will be banned, but only those that spread the propaganda. Candu explained that the essence of the draft law is in allowing the broadcasting informative programs only of TV and radio channels that come from the EU, US, Canada and countries that ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.
The project also stipulates sanctions for broadcasters that violate the law: from fines to cancelling broadcasting licences in less than 30 days by court.
The draft law was already submitted to the Parliament of Moldova.
The President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, did not like the proposal, claiming that the Democrats show off their “Pro-European” and “anti-Russian” character to the West. Dodon promises that he would block the draft law even two times until the point when the draft law is subject of a referendum.
What is worth paying attention to is that Plahotniuc himself owns the most-watched TV channel Prime TV, who rebroadcasts Russian “Pervyi Kanal”, probably the most popular pieces of Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Some say that the “anti-propaganda” law might not hit Prime TV so hard because the rebroadcasting contract expires in the second half of 2017.
On the other hand, NTV Moldova, belonging to a Socialist MP and known for best coverage of Dodon, partially rebroadcasts NTV from Russia.