Catalina Russu from Moldova, 22, is working at the National News Agency Moldpress. She is also studying Management of Media Production at the State University of Moldova.

Imagine a child which was born in a divorced family. One of the parents tries to “buy” the child by spoiling him with gifts, attention and promises and the other one tries to catch the child by threatening him with cutting all the money, not offering financial support for vital needs etc. 

Well, this child is also my country, Republic Moldova, which is continuously pulled in two different directions: the European Union, which keeps feeding us with promises of a better future and the Russian Federation, which threatens us with gas ceasing, embargoes, and potential war in the unrecognized territory of Transnistria.
The Republic of Moldova is too small and poor in order to have a free, equidistant, and objective media. The Moldovan press has lost 10 positions in the ranking of press freedom worldwide, according to the annual report conducted by the NGO “Freedom House”. The report says that media in our country is "partly free", and it takes the 122nd position of 199 countries included. 
Moldova is the country `of all possibilities`, and by this I mean: a prime-minister is appointed and the second day the media discovers his university diploma is fake, a billion of euros has been stolen from banks, and nobody has been punished or dismissed for that, several ex-ministers have been convicted, and all of them escaped from the country, the biggest suspect in the bank robbery, Ilan Shor, instead of being prosecuted, is elected as the mayor of one of our country’s main cities and so on.
Moldova is indirectly controlled right now by two politicians who plead for European Union on the screens, but make an alliance with the Communist Party in order to elect the govern. These two men also control the media in our country. For example, on the 5th of April, 3rd of May and 7th of June, a non-political platform “Dignity and Truth” organized protests in the National Square against the government, General Prosecution, National Bank Governor, National Anticorruption Center, main political leaders from the country etc. 
Only a few Televisions showed the real number of protesters and the real purpose of the strike. Most of the televisions, which are controlled by the leaders of the two main political parties (Liberal-Democratic Party and Democratic Party), said the number of protesters was 7000 (when in real there were over 50.000) and that they gathered in order to plead for the European Union (nothing about the robbery and negative demands).
I, myself, have been in this situation since the first day I started working. Being a reporter at the National News Agency can be a challenging thing sometimes. That is because, on one hand, you want to reflect the truth and dig into the problem more, on the other hand you should write nothing that would discredit the current government. 
Moreover, one of my colleagues who works in a TV controlled by the Democratic Party has been sanctioned with 50% of her salary, she emphasized another political leader than the one of the democratic party. 
On the 20th of June 2014, a journalist from the online news portal “” (, which revealed a couple of injuries committed by the minister of intern affairs, has been arrested in a case “manufactured” by police.
One of the cops called the journalist and proposed a compromise on a singer from our country (the cops invented that the singer has beaten a child after one of his concerts) in order to write a sensational news about it. The journalist meets the cop and in the same moment he is being arrested “for blackmailing the policeman”. It sounds stupid, but it happened indeed. After three days, the journalist has been set free.
Making a parallel between the media during the communist government (2001-2009) and the democratic government (2009-2015), I cannot stress many differences, because the key word for both is censorship. During the “communist era”, there was more propaganda, because the news only reflected the good things from the country, creating to people the impression that our state is a problem-less one. 
With this government, the propaganda was replaced with manipulation. There is only one good thing: the growth of internet media, which can be hardly controlled by the government. People who get access to internet can be informed from various media sources and choose the most appropriate one.
As for Ukraine, the Russian propaganda was very low reflected on the screens. Moreover, two journalists from Russia where not allowed this April to enter Moldova, so they couldn’t promote their movie with their specific version of what happened to Crimea.
Despite everything said above, the pluralism of media does exist in my country, which is an essential pre-condition of democracy. In order to really have a free media, everything should start from changing the Moldovans’ mentality and sanction our government through more strikes, and demands for truth. I guess we are too quiet and humble…

 Catalina Russu