Thursday, April 24, 2014

RFE/RL's Moldovan Service

Radio Europa Libera is the most popular international radio broadcaster in Moldova, with almost 90 percent of listeners crediting its programs with increasing their understanding of current events.

Fast Facts

  • Established: 1950 (to Romania. Moldova-specific programs since 1998; Romania programs ended in 2008.)
  • Distribution: Radio (AM, FM, UKV, SW, cable, satellite); TV; Internet (website, mobile, social media) 
  • Coverage: Radio in Moldova: 90 minutes Monday-Friday, 30 minutes on weekends; Radio in Transdniester: 30 minutes weekly to Transdniester; TV: 30 minutes per week.
  • Locations: Prague, Chisinau
  • Staff: 4 (Prague), 4 (Chisinau), 20 stringers

Media Environment

  • Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, defamation and insult of the state remain criminal offenses, investigative reporting is risky and self-censorship is still common among journalists.
  • Moldova has decriminalized defamation for the most part, but laws and practices create obstacles for the protection of journalists.


  • The Service provides credible information and analysis and a forum for debate on topics important to Moldova, the region, and the world. Many local news outlets reprint the Service’s reports.
  • Radio Europe Libera produces a 30-minute television show in partnership with private “Pro TV”, which focuses on both political and social issues.
  • In 2013, Radio Europa Libera will publish the first audiobook produced locally in Moldova. Audio segments from the latest book by author Vladimir Besleaga are first published on the Service’s website; they will later be compiled into one audiobook.
  • Radio Europa Libera remains the most popular international radio broadcaster in Moldova. About 87 percent of listeners crediting its programs with increasing their understanding of current events.
  • Radio Europa Libera was one of the few media outlets in Moldova to follow the case of Ernest Vardanean, an RFE/RL contributor who was arrested by the separatist region of Transdniester for allegedly spying for Moldova in 2010. Radio Europa Libera’s reporting helped achieve Vardanean’s release from prison in May 2011.
  • Radio Europa Libera’s website has vastly increased its audience and visibility. Its reports are now reprinted by most news outlets in Moldova.
  • Since 2005, Radio Europa Libera has published an annual collection of "Weekly Diaries," based on a weekly program in which Moldovans from all walks of life provide an intimate, personal perspective and historical record of the main domestic and international events of the week. All U.S. Ambassadors to Moldova have written diaries for the program.

updated: 28 June 2013

Facts & Stats

3.560 million (World Bank estimate, 2012)

Most Common Languages:
Romanian (Moldovan), Russian, Ukranian, Gagauz

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Not Free, ranked 112 out of 197 (2013)

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
55 out of 179 (2013)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
94 out of 183 (2012)

Global Peace Index (IES):
74 out of 158 (2013)

Amnesty International:

Moldova Report (2013)