Monday, September 01, 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, cable, satellite); TV; Internet (website, mobile, social media) 
  • Coverage: Radio in Moldova: 105 minutes Monday-Friday, 90 minutes on weekends; Radio in Transdniester: 30 minutes weekly to Transdniester; TV: 150 minutes per week, joint programs with private PROTV and public Moldova 1 channel.
  • Locations: Prague, Chisinau
  • Staff: 5 (Prague), 5 (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 common among journalists.
  • After the violent events in Ukraine, the Russian media stepped up a “propaganda war” in Moldova using Russian TV and radio channels, printed press, and privately owned broadcast media.
  • Moldova's Council for TV and Radio has sought to counter Russian propaganda, suspending the broadcast license of news channel Rossiya 24 and sanctioning four Moldovan broadcasters for lacking "pluralism of opinions during news programs."


  • As the only Western international media service with a daily presence in Moldova, the Radio Europa Libera 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 Europa Libera produces a 30-minute show in partnership with private “Pro TV” focused on political and social issues, and hosts a semi-weekly talk show on Moldova 1 that ranks as the public television channel’s most viewed political program.
  • Radio Europa Libera's special programming to the separatist Transdniester region, designed to build bridges between people of the region, doubled in 2014 in response to events in Ukraine.
  • In a 2014 magazine poll, Chisinau Bureau correspondent Valentina Ursu was named by Moldovan politicians the only journalist whose interview requests cannot be refused. Ursu was also awarded Romania's National Order of Merit in 2014 by President Traian Basescu.
  • In 2012 and 2013, Chisinau bureau chief Vasile Botnaru was voted one of the 50 most influential Moldovans by readers of one of the country’s most-read magazines. Botnaru was awarded Moldova's "Order of the Republic" in 2009 for his contributions to free speech and democracy.
  • 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: 10 July 2014

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 (2014)

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
56 out of 180 (2014)

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

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

Amnesty International:

Moldova Report (2013)