Welcome to the 1990s!
A lack of government consideration for journalism and the media, growing political censorship and an increase in self-censorship are the main features of the current media landscape. The media have gradually been turned into political propaganda tools. They are very politicised, their funding mechanisms are opaque or even corrupt, and their editorial policies are subordinated to owner interests. Such are the disturbing phenomena that have become the norm in Romania.
The chief concern of government politicians meanwhile seems to be to avoid being sentenced to imprisonment by amending the anti-corruption laws and ensuring that they control they judicial system and courts. The ruling coalition has replaced part of the public broadcaster’s management and has made it dependent on funding from the state budget. The National Broadcasting Council does not really fulfil its regulatory role and does not condemn abuses. Around ten media owners are currently the target of criminal proceedings by the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office or by the prosecutor-general’s office.
The authorities are constantly pressuring journalists to reveal their sources and try to silence any criticism of the system. Government agents posing as journalists have recently started infiltrating news organisations. A few independent media outlets manage to survive alongside the big media groups, but they are subjected to arbitrary tax and finance inspections whenever they criticise powerful politicians. The authorities, private sector companies and individuals recently began invoking the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as grounds for denying access to information, or to threaten and prosecute journalists in connection with their investigative reporting.
44 in 2018
23.65 in 2018