Grass­roots Radio on Coro­n­avirus — Report from Roma­nia

As the Coro­n­avirus is spread­ing across Europe, Grass­roots Radio project part­ners are devot­ing their ener­gies to arrange infor­ma­tion ini­tia­tives to keep local pop­u­la­tions informed about data and events con­nect­ed to the health emer­gency. Addi­tion­al­ly, there are mem­bers of the con­sor­tium who are also active to mon­i­tor gov­ern­men­tal deci­sions regard­ing the orga­ni­za­tion of infor­ma­tion about the virus.

This is the case of Active Watch, the Roman­ian human rights orga­ni­za­tion and mem­ber of the GR project that pro­motes free com­mu­ni­ca­tion for the pub­lic inter­est. Liana Ganea, mem­ber of Active Watch and Reporters With­out Bor­ders as well as an active com­po­nent of the GR project, answered to the micro­phones of Radio FRO, a free radio broad­cast­ing in Upper Aus­tria.

A sig­nif­i­cant part of the inter­view is ded­i­cat­ed to the mea­sures that Roma­nia is imple­ment­ing in order to con­trast fake news. Liana told Radio FRO that the Roman­ian gov­ern­ment decid­ed that local author­i­ties can­not com­mu­ni­cate data to jour­nal­ists any­more. All data about the cas­es have to be com­mu­ni­cate to a cen­tral body that is gov­ern­ing the cri­sis. This is an exam­ple of lack of trans­paren­cy that the gov­ern­ment has start­ed to imple­ment.

NGOs are rather buys to react against these poli­cies. The dec­la­ra­tion of state of emer­gency has intro­duced mea­sures that are affect­ing free­dom of expres­sion, mak­ing the work of jour­nal­ists and NGOs more opaque and dif­fi­cult. One of the con­se­quences of these deci­sions is that the gov­ern­ment can ask the tele­com reg­u­la­tor to delete any web­site that they think cre­ate fake news. Accord­ing to Liana, this process is rather unclear both because there are not inter­me­di­ate steps until the shut­down and because the cri­te­ria to deter­mine the qual­i­ty of a con­tent have not been clar­i­fied.  Accord­ing to Liana, state author­i­ties admit­ted that they lost track of the virus.

The inter­view has been con­duct­ed in Eng­lish and includ­ed between min­utes 11.45 and 23:00.


No Comments

Post A Comment