Policy Brief #65: The Game of Influences: The Vested Interests Behind Romanian Media

This policy brief presents and analyzes the current state of the Romanian media, and raises important questions about the commonly held notion that the press in Romania is actually “free”. The report evaluates the overall level of independence of the Romanian media by looking at the following: 1) the different “pathologies” and common practices that plague media organizations, disallowing them from operating at a high (and journalistically sound) level 2) a list of central media owners and shareholders 3) insolvency situation from within the central press 4) media owner/media personality judicial problems 5) the public advertising situation in Romania. A recent case study that illustrates a perfect example of Romanian “free press” shortcomings is presented to provide readers with an example of how false information is spread through media channels, often to benefit a particular agenda or interest group. The report concludes with several recommendations aimed at disrupting the seemingly endless series of bad practices that have degraded trust in media organizations in recent years. These solutions can be implemented at all levels, thus involving not only the media organizations themselves, but also the government, regulatory bodies, civil society, and even ordinary citizens, providing a holistic solution to a very important issue.