Romania, libera doar partial

Romania se situeaza pe locul 96 si are aproape 100 de tari deasupra in clasamentul celor 195 de tari a caror presa a fost analizata de fundatia americana Freedom House. Deasupra Romaniei figureaza, in acest clasament, tari ca: Lesotho, Timorul de Est, Mozambic, Fiji, Burkina Faso, Antigua si Barbuda, Botswana, Tonga, Samoa, Papua Noua Guinee sau Bulgaria si Serbia, dintre vecini. Freedom House considera ca presa este doar partial libera in Romania si prezinta la sectiunea despre stadiul libertatii presei presiunile autoritatilor in cazul CD-ului “secret” al Armatei, in care au fost implicati fara voia lor si jurnalisti ai ZIUA. De asemenea, este mentionat cazul pamfletului la adresa Ministerului Afacerilor Externe realizat sub forma unei pagini electronice de ziaristi ZIUA George Damian si Victor Roncea, pagina electronica ce a fost inchisa ilegal la presiunile fostului minstru de Externe Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. Freedom House sublinieaza ca stadiul libertatii presei s-a imbunatatit in Romania dupa alegerile din 2004 castigate de Traian Basescu dar inca se practica auto-cenzura in randurile jurnalistilor afectati de puterea patronatelor.

Redam sectiunea despre Romania din Raportul Freedom House mai jos


Status: Partly Free

Legal Environment: 12

Political Environment: 15

Economic Environment: 15

Total Score: 42

The constitution protects freedom of the press, and the government is increasingly respectful of these rights. The parliament in June 2006 passed a measure that decriminalized defamation and similar offenses, meaning journalists would no longer face jail time in such cases. Lawmakers had initially removed the infractions from the criminal code in 2005, but the changes were subsequently suspended. In February 2006, several journalists were drawn into the case of a former soldier, Ionel Popa, who had allegedly leaked classified information about Romanian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to a number of news organizations. The information was reportedly not sensitive enough to endanger the troops, and the media outlets declined to publish it, in some cases handing it over to the authorities voluntarily. Nevertheless, one reporter, Marian Garleanu of the Romania Libera daily, was arrested for possessing state secrets and jailed for two days. Sebastian Oancea of the Ziua daily was also charged, and both men faced up to seven years in prison if convicted. Several other reporters were questioned or investigated by the authorities. Recent progress toward implementing freedom of information legislation has been difficult, and the government still appoints the boards of the public television and radio operators.

The political environment for media has improved substantially since the 2004 election of President Traian Basescu, who pledged greater respect for press freedom and has proven to be less controlling and manipulative of the media than his predecessors. Self-censorship also appears to have decreased. However, the government and state institutions remain sensitive to media criticism. Media tycoon and Conservative Party leader Dan Voiculescu withdrew his candidacy for deputy prime minister after an official body tasked with studying the Communist-era secret police archives revealed that he had been a collaborator. The media had often aired unproven claims that various public figures had worked with the security services, but none had previously been confirmed officially. Voiculescu maintained that he had merely provided security officials with obligatory reports on his trade-related activities abroad.

The number of media outlets and news sources has increased in recent years, and they are becoming more active and self-sufficient. However, they still face significant economic pressure thanks to ownership concentration, lack of revenue, and a limited advertising market. Most media rely on government-funded advertising. The situation is worse for smaller newspapers outside of Bucharest, where the advertising market is less developed and local officials own many media outlets. Western European media groups Ringier and WAZ own the three highest-circulating dailies, and journalists report that the owners are increasingly toning down critical coverage. According to a 2005 European Union study, media outlets are frequently registering abroad to avoid disclosing ownership structures. Usage of the internet is increasing, but rural areas suffer from
inadequate infrastructure; about 25 percent of the population is able to gain access, with few reports of government interference. However, one such case took place in June when the Foreign Ministry convinced a private internet service provider (ISP) to shut down a website created by two Ziua reporters, George Damian and Victor Roncea, to parody the ministry’s own site. The ISP also handed over the journalists’ personal information, an apparent violation of Romanian privacy law.

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