Media freedom in Romania ahead of Super Election Year

4 April, 14:00 CET

On April 4, the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Media Freedom Rapid Response will host a webinar to mark the publication of a major report assessing press freedom and independent journalism in Romania.


In Romania, the main instrument of political capture of the media are the ‘media and propaganda’ funds. Political parties pay around 20 million euros annually to the media from their allocation from the state budget. The size and lack of transparency over their expenditure has created a pliant media culture that panders to politicians and fails to hold the government to account. There is a profound crisis in local journalism created by a near complete dependency on local government funds for survival. 


A growing use of abusive lawsuits, or SLAPPs, used against Romanian media and journalists is draining resources and increasing costs for media. Journalists are facing a growing chilling effect on newsrooms and pressure to desist from pursuing investigative content. 


Lastly, while most journalists conduct their work without fear for their safety, a significant number are regularly trolled, threatened or worse. Too often, the police fail to take appropriate action, leaving  women journalists  to either accept the threats or leave the profession.


Oliver Money-Kyrle

Head of Europe Advocacy and Programmes, International Press Institute (IPI)


Septimius Parvu

Electoral Expert, Expert Forum

Cristina Lupu

Executive Director, Center for Independent Journalism

Ana Poenariu

Investigative journalist

Marius Daea

Producer and country coordinator in the Science+ project at Free Press Unlimited


Sielke Kelner

Researcher and Advocacy Officer, Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

The report has been jointly produced by the organizations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR): ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). 


The report will be published first in English, with a translated Romanian version to follow in the coming weeks.