Interview 07 Nov 17

Romania Media ‘Must Defend its Independence’, Union Says

MediaSind president Cristi Godinac tells BIRN in an interview that journalists must unite to defeat the ruling party’s plans to clip the wings of the public news agency Agerpres. 

Ana Maria Touma
BIRN
Bucharest
MediaSind Journalists' Trade Union president Cristi Godinac. Photo: George Calin/Inquam Photos

Moves by Romania’s ruling Social Democrats to give the country’s parliament more control over the public news agency, Agerpres, have mobilized local and international media freedom organizations, which call the move a direct threat to the agency’s independence.

The Romanian journalists’ union, MediaSind, is among several organizations that have strongly opposed the new bill – despite which the Senate passed it last week.

It now needs to pass through parliament’s lower chamber and be approved by the President.

MediaSind’s president Cristi Godinac told BIRN that while the public media in Romania in general has long been under state control, Agerpres in recent years had taken a more independent line, thanks mainly to a law passed in 2013 that curbed political influence on Agerpres’ management.

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