The Media Program in Moldova (MPM) supports the formation and sustainability of a network of independent local television stations around Moldova to provide higher quality local news and productions to a wider audience.
It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
• Establish a network of independent regional television stations
• Professionalize the standards of network station news and information programs
• Improve business-management of network and member stations Improve the capacity of media in Transnistria to serve local information needs
Local Moldovan television stations generally serve a very small audience and produce only a few hours per day of their own programming while rebroadcasting everything else, including news. The national stations they rebroadcast carry very Chisinau-centric news that focuses largely on developments in the capital city and rarely cover events in Moldova’s many small towns and villages. Because these small local stations have very limited resources, they themselves cannot venture into other areas for newsgathering purposes. Networking stations will allow them to exchange information without creating additional strain and will provide people in these small towns with more news about the entire country.
Committee-based initiatives to increase news and informational programming produced by network members and shared among stations. Network members set up committees for editorial standards, audience research, and advertising and promotions. These committees will help the network cooperate on producing quality programming that will target audiences throughout the network.
Establishment of a legal entity to increase production of shared program content, manage network operations, solicit common advertising and share revenue. The network establishes a legal entity that will help itsolicit advertising, create shared revenue, deal with authorities on media laws, taxation, and the broadcast regulator.
Technical support for network members to establish a common identity through a defined, shared program schedule. IREX provides support to the network in assessing its alternatives based on existing and expected telecommunications infrastructure and explore the possibility of establishing a weekly magazine program or nightly newscast that will be shared throughout the network.
Workshops to increase professionalism of news reporting and presentation. IREX and the Independent Journalism Centre (IJC) deliver sequenced workshops for all TV stations with potential to join the formal network structure. Workshops are of a “how to” nature – “How to write and film a standup,” for example -- to develop specific practical skills to immediately raise the stations’ news presence. • Subgrants to help focus news and information on community concerns. IREX provides production subgrants to generate content that raise the stations’ profiles as sources of previously unavailable local news and around which advertising can be sold.
Mentor-based training to establish and institutionalize technical production standards. IREX staff, partners, and consultants provide a mentoring relationship with each station and provide regular, on-site training and coordinate to meet specific skills gaps. The mentoring team meets regularly with the network Management Committee to ensure coordination, build commonality among member stations, and maximize impact from production subgrants accessed by each station.
On-site consulting to enhance management practices that support station sustainability. IREX provides consulting to individual member stations to improve their business operations in accordance with the overall network strategic plan. In addition, business development subgrants are available on a competitive basis for well-designed initiatives that contribute to raising station revenues.
Perform and train stations to conduct market research. IREX commissions regular audience research and provides training to stations on how to interpret the results and implement changes in programming and scheduling to increase audience share and advertising revenue.
Subgrants and training for Transnistrian initiatives. IREX assists media in Transnistria to improve programming and management professionalism and to foster cooperation and program sharing between Transnistiran and Moldovan media.