Study on the Democratic Party's bill to fight propaganda

The study by experts from the Community "WatchDog.MD" aims to analyze the impact of the Democratic Party's legislative initiative designed to eliminate Russian propaganda in the Moldovan media. The authors concluded that the new law would have a bearing only on the audiovisual. And propaganda will be diminished rather than eliminated. The way the law is formulated will allow propagandist content transmitters to adapt quickly and deliver the same messages as local products.

It is possible for Russian environments to register local branches. Moldovan broadcasters who are now broadcasting Russian TV shows to translate and modify them so that they can be delivered as domestic content. Besides the small regulatory impact, the law comes with a formulation of the concept of information security entirely different from that proposed by the SIS and approved in first reading by Parliament. This reflects the lack of communication between state structures and politicians, a dangerous thing about security policies.

Apart from the lack of a decisive effect, the initiative is one that is surely politically profitable for the PSRM and Igor Dodon on the one hand and the governing led by Vlad Plahotniuc on the other. Discussions around this initiative allow imitation of counterpart between the government and the socialists, on the brink of image loss because of the joint promotion of the change of the electoral system. Erecting the defender of the Russian press allows Igor Dodon to position himself in favor of a part of the electorate and the authorities in Moscow. Vlad Plahtoniuc is trying to regain the trust of the West by doing so.

In addition to political benefit, the two actors could take advantage of this initiative. The Socialists could benefit from new funding from the Russian Federation to replace the retransmitted content with similar products. Vlad Plahotniuc could hope for funding for his TV stations on account of US allocations in the fight with Russian propaganda in Eastern Europe.

The main TV channels that will be affected and are the main propagators of Russian propaganda (with big audiences) are Prime, RTR, NTV, and RenTV. The impact of Prime TV is greatest in this sent, surpassing the rest together.

In this respect, the authors urged Vlad Plahotniuc to prove his determination and to interrupt the Russian propaganda through his television station immediately. Particularly in the medium term, it will be the only visible impact of the new law.

The authors recommended the authorities in Chisinau to reform the BCC by choosing a new composition through a transparent competition. This will have a visible and real impact on the quality of the broadcast.

In conclusion, the authors stated that the legislative initiative is rather part of the political and economic tactics of pro-Russian power and opposition than a genuine commitment to the fight against Russian disinformation in the Moldovan media.



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