The 24-month project "Strengthening Independent Media and Media Literacy in Moldova" (SIMMLM) was officially launched in October 2014. The project will improve access to reliable and comprehensive information on key EU and global issues, increase public discussion between citizens and journalists, and promote greater media literacy through media and library partnerships. IREX Europe is implementing the project in partnership with the Association of Independent TV Journalists (ATI), a leading Moldovan non-profit created in 2004 by former journalists from the state-owned Teleradio-Moldova. ATI publish a weekly independent investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda (The Guard newspaper), as well as produce regular investigative television reports broadcast on Moldova 1 TV channel.
Moldova is at a crossroads. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe, with a large foreign debt and high unemployment. Moldova is seeking closer integration with Europe and signed an EU Association Agreement on June 27th, 2014. But Moldova has a large Russian minority population and is historically, geographically and economically closely tied to Russia making EU integration a contentious issue. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has further divided opinion over EU integration. Fair and accurate reporting on what integration involves, and on regional issues such as the Ukraine crisis are increasingly hard to obtain. This project will strengthen local reporting on key EU and global issues, build media literacy among the general population, and provide public platforms for open discussion of the Ukrainian crisis, EU integration, and other key current issues, in particular in Russian-populated areas. Improved access to reliable and comprehensive information through independent media should help Moldovan citizens make better informed decisions concerning their country’s future.
Strengthening local media reporting on key EU and global issues – IREX Europe and ATI will recruit up to 10 regional journalists to work together with ATI to produce TV documentaries on EU and global issues. The productions will be broadcast on Moldova 1 TV channel, local television outlets, and will be reversioned for dissemination on “Ziarul de Garda” magazine and its online version.
Public platforms for discussion – IREX Europe and ATI will hold 24 public discussions in at least 12 raions of Moldova. Local reports produced by journalists participating in the project will be presented at each meeting and will be used as springboards for the discussions.
Media literacy through media and library partnerships – IREX Europe’s sister organisation IREX is leading the Novateca program, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that brings technology, Internet, and community–focused skills to 1,000 libraries in Moldova. Building on the strong local community role of the Novateca program, IREX Europe will support libraries to develop media corners in at least 12 raions as well as train librarians in media literacy, online media access and “how to run a media corner”. The project will then support the local librarians to run media literacy programs targeting youth and young adults. The media corners will give access to local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, and will be equipped with computers and internet, allowing the librarians to provide training and facilities to help local citizens access online information.
October 2014 – September 2016
ATI journalists producing a report on Stalin’s deportations