Personnel Cleanup in Transnistrian Media

Luiza Doroshenko, director of the Media Center from Tiraspol

Some media outlets from the left bank of the Dniester have been reporting about dismissals of local journalists who used to work in the media outlets loyal to former separatist leader Yevgeny Shevchuk.

According to them, many of those journalists were forced to leave their jobs, and some even to flee to Russia, Ukraine, or some European countries, so as not to be persecuted in Tiraspol. They describe the situations that made them leave on their pages on social networking websites.

The Alfa24 radio has posted on its website an extensive material under the headline “‘You give likes to the wrong people! Resign!’ Journalists are leaving Transnistria,” which cites some journalists’ confessions on Facebook, where they are telling how they were forced to resign.

“I was asked to resign. I don’t support the right people, I don’t give ‘likes’ to the right people on social networking sites,” a former TV host writes.

Others tell how, when they were considering employment in other media outlets, they were asked to close their profiles on social networking websites and told: “You should have known who to friend.”

Contacted by Media Azi, Luiza Doroshenko, director of the Media Center from Tiraspol, confirmed that media outlets on the left bank of the Dniester have personnel cleanups. This process intensified after separatist leader Vadim Krasnoselski came to power and still continues, she said.

Luiza Doroshenko explains:

“There have been job cuts in media, especially among managers. People dismissed from an outlet are unlikely to be employed at another outlet, because nearly all public media outlets are (directly or indirectly) under the control of Sheriff [the company supporting the current separatist leader – editor’s note]. In the Transnistrian region there are few independent media outlets, and they barely survive.
Change of journalists in key positions after every change of power has become a tradition for the Transnistrian region. It is exactly what Yevgeny Shevchuk [former separatist leader – editor’s note] did in his time. And the trend of resignations “on one’s own initiative,” by the way, is valid not only for the media field.
Media has not been free in Shevchuk’s time, nor is it free now. We face a continuing violation of the media law and total lack of competition in the field.
While last year, before the elections, mass media – controlled by Shevchuk on the one hand and by Sheriff on the other hand – delivered contradictory messages, sometimes false or manipulating, now the public is being served one message. Guess, in whose favor it is? In these conditions, social networking websites are becoming the most credible sources of information.”

The article was republished from MediaAzi, website of the Moldovan Independent Journalism Center, a SEENPM member organization.