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 2012, statistics recorded 232 magazines and other periodicals and 166 newspapers in the Republic of 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 şi Arta”, the monthlies “Basarabia”, “Contrafort”, “Semn”, “Atelier”, “Viata Basarabiei”, “Limba Română”, 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.
Apart from cultural magazines, 8 weekly and 12 daily newspapers periodically deal with cultural topics. In 2012, the annual circulation of magazines and periodicals was 2.9 million copies, which is 1.3 million less than in 2011. The share of magazines in Romanian was 46% in 2012. More difficult is the situation concerning the publication of newspapers, whose combined circulation is declining in recent years: from 1.5 million copies in 2009 to 0.9 million copies in 2012, while the annual circulation fell from 54 million (2009) to 40 million copies (2012). According to sociological data, for 82% of Moldova’s population television is the main source of information, while only 14% of the population receives information from the printed media. The difficult social and economic period determines the attitude of Moldova’s population towards the printed mass 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 licenses 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 July 29, 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.