December 4, 2023
President Sandu, Distinguished Colleagues. I am honored to be here at the 2023 Mass Media Forum and am thankful to the Press Council and its partners for organizing this incredibly important event.
A free and independent press is a pillar of democracy – it strengthens accountability and equips citizens to make informed decisions. As President Biden said earlier this year, a free press “educates, illuminates, exposes, and uncovers. It serves as a guardian of truth.” You, the journalists in this room who work every day to investigate and publish facts, to ask the tough questions, to hold accountable governments and people in positions of power– you are the guardians of truth. The work you do ensures that every citizen in this country has access to fact-based information about events both in Moldova and across the world.
The work you do is not easy. Not only do you need to think about chasing down the right leads, but you also face economic challenges and an unprecedented wave of disinformation. Russia’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine has only added to these challenges for the media in Moldova.
We deeply value and are proud to partner in your efforts to make Moldova more democratic, secure, and prosperous.
From direct support to business practice development to supporting content production, the United States works to partner to develop an independent media sector that is resilient to political or financial pressure. All Moldovans deserve access to a variety of fact-based opinions, and we are proud of our work through both our Public Diplomacy Section and USAID to support this possibility.
I urge you to take full advantage of the opportunity this forum provides to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by Moldova’s media environment. A healthy information space can only be achieved when the media, government, private sector actors, and civil society all work together. Based on those I see across the room, I know that you will ask the right questions, share successes, strategize solutions, and continue to build a dialogue that benefits independent media and the future of Moldova.