The Eastern Partnership region has been affected during the last 20 years by political and economicinstability. The population of these countries has been subjected to social insecurity, radical changes of paradigms, and social status.
Moldova has had five Prime Ministers between 2015 and 2017. The political instability in the country generated social instability. And in its turn, the political battles polarized the media, some of which openly went to the barricades. Some of the most influential media outlets, affiliated with the Democratic Party, covered the local elections with heavy bias in favour of its candidates. A Moldovan politician and local oligarch owns Publika TV, Prime TV, Canal 2 TV, Canal 3 TV, Publika FM, Muz FM and Maestro FM. The fact that seven broadcast licenses can be owned by one single person seriously affects pluralism of opinion in Moldova.
Fojo intends to reinforce existing networks In Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries through connecting them with national professional networks. Individual media organisations will stand stronger in their efforts to advocate for free, independent, professional media. Additionally, the networks will be essential to further develop key skills in management, technical and journalistic performance.
Assistance to improve media management and business models is closely connected to digital solutions being provided through the project. The solutions will be tailored to the needs of each selected media house. Fojo’s work in this region will be focused on improving journalism quality and reducing costs.
Challenges for independent news media houses are both profound and global and thus valid for all countries targeted in the Fojo programme. There is therefore a deeply felt need to exchange experiences and engage in broad discussions on how independent media can overcome these challenges. Fojo is hoping to offer forums and places for this kind of exchange between media professionals.