Strengthening Independent Media and Media Literacy in Moldova (SIMML)


Project Overview

Under SIMML, 99 librarians were trained in media literacy and they have gone on to run more than 100 media literacy trainings and activities in raions across the country, reaching more than 1800 citizens (librarians, youth, students and local authority representatives). Media corners where citizens can access news and information with guided assistance from the librarians are also being established under the project, under a small grants scheme. The media corners offer local citizens access to a wide array of media including online media. Our trained librarians then offer guidance and counseling in how to access an array of information and how to check the information against a range of sources.

Under SIMML IREX Europe is also working with Moldovan media to build the capacities of the new generation of journalists through learning-by-doing internships. 26 journalists and journalism students have received training so far, producing and broadcasting more than 30 video and radio reports, as well as online and print articles.

We’ve combined the media production and media literacy components by organising public discussion sessions in partnership with the libraries where the journalists have joined discussions on the issues covered in their stories, and the librarians and other guests have discussed the issues in the context of media literacy.

The project runs until December 2018. For the remainder of the project we will work to:

  • expand our network of trained journalists by involving new young journalists and journalism students in the learning-by-doing process at leading Moldovan independent media.
  • Continue to train librarians in media literacy so that they can go on to run media literacy activities in more raions across Moldova.
  • Continue to set up Media Corners in public libraries across Moldova.

SIMML Objectives:

  • Objective 1: Improve the quality and quantity of media reports on social and political developments affecting Moldova.
  • Objective 2: Strengthen links between media and their communities through open discussion platforms gathering journalists, civil society organizations, and local audiences.
  • Objective 3: Empower citizens to engage with new media technologies, traditional media, and journalists by developing and expanding media literacy and media corners in libraries across Moldova, by supporting community’s media initiatives.

Our project works to achieve these objects through the following activities:

Strengthening local media reporting

IREX Europe is working closely with project partners; Association of Independent TV Journalists (ATI); Radio Free Europe; Gagauz Media; and OWH TV Studio. Together we select and recruit journalism students and young journalists from different raions to join a learning-by-doing production process, from pre- to post-production (including the filming phase). The report topics focus on economic, social and political issues including the national education system, corruption, international events that affect Moldova and many others. The key focus is to interpret the events in a way that ordinary people will understand and will relate to, producing balanced, well researched stories that put the issues into a Moldovan context.

Promotion of media literacy through media and library partnerships

IREX Europe is supporting libraries to develop media corners in at least 12 raions as well as train librarians in media literacy, online media access and “how to run a media corner”. The project is also supporting the local librarians to run media literacy programs targeting youth and adults. The media corners give access to local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, and are equipped with computers and internet access, allowing the librarians to provide training and facilities to help local citizens access online information, and to do so with a critical approach.

Public platforms for discussion

The aim here is to bring together communities for active discussion on the important issues affecting Moldovan citizens. Our partner librarians with our support, organise and lead public discussions involving project journalists as well as local journalists, and local community leaders.