4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity
Although the number of independent media companies is sufficiently large, only 20% of weeklies, daily newspapers, magazines and broadcastings are indeed independent. The rest (about 40%) belong to different individuals or groups of journalists who promote the policy of diverse parties, companies etc. In 2005, there were 147 journals and other similar publications, and 226 daily newspapers in Moldova.
Due to pressures from the government and the Ministry of Finance, cultural reviews stopped receiving public funding as of 1995. As a result, two magazines ("Columna" and "Codru") folded. Another 8 have managed to survive thanks to sponsorship from different private companies, non-governmental organisations and foundations: the weekly "Literatura ÅŸi Arta", the monthlies "Basarabia", "Contrafort", "Semn", "Atelier", "Viata Basarabiei", "Limba RomânÄƒ", and the quarterly "Sud-Est". The Romanian Cultural Institute and Romanian Cultural Foundation also provide assistance. Although these cultural reviews have all managed to maintain a steady level of readership, sporadic funding has led to infrequent publication and reduced print-runs.
8 weekly and 12 daily newspapers occasionally carry articles on cultural issues.
The yearly print-runs of journals and periodical publications increased from 3.5 million copies in 2002 to 7.0 million in 2006. The share of magazines in the Romanian language also increased from 34% in 2002 to 48% in 2005. A more difficult situation concerns the publishing of newspapers whose combined print-run remains at a similar level during these years – 1.2-1.5 million copies. According to sociological data, for 80% of the population of the Republic of Moldova, the main source of information is television and only 26% receive information from printed media. The difficult social and economic period determines the attitude of Moldova's population towards the printed mass media. The Household Budget Survey database indicates that in 2006 about 0.43% of the total household budget (in the rural localities – only 0.27%) was spent on printed media.
There are 190 TV stations and 42 radio stations covering the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova. All these stations work on the basis of licences issued by the Audiovisual Co-ordination Board. According to the Law on the Audiovisual Sector and the guidelines issued by the Board, each channel should broadcast 65% of its programmes in the official language, the share of indigenous music should not be less than 20%, and over 30% of all broadcast programmes should deal with cultural and educational issues.
However, most of these stations are re-transmitting Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and other TV and radio programmes, with their own cultural programmes added. This is the reason why the statistical data on this issue refers only to the programmes broadcast by "Teleradio-Moldova" Company - the share of cultural programmes within the company is: Radio-Moldova – 34.5%; TV-Moldova 1 – 23% in Romanian and 3% in the languages of ethnic minorities.
TV Moldova 1, restructured after the parliamentary elections held on 29 July 2009, has diversified its transmissions on cultural issues. It transmits live concerts and performances, important cultural events that take place in various cultural institutions, and programmes that include prominent cultural personalities etc.
The share of domestic programmes (within the same company) is 91.4% and of foreign ones – 8.6%.
Jurnal TV is the media partner of most international festivals. It also organises TV debates about the events. Additionally, twice a week there are interactive debates with the participation of the audience on cultural issues. From its inception, Jurnal TV has literally impeded the demolition of several monuments of cultural and historic value, by informing the public and drawing local authorities' attention to the subject.
The Moldovan Union of Journalists, the non-governmental Independent Journalism Centre and several other Clubs in the field include, in their activities, debates on professional ethics and, on the other hand, support local media in denouncing pressure and censorship by public authorities and various business and political groups of interests.