Our Moldovan partner, Cristian Ziliberberg, demonstrates how new media on the continent has helped drive a change in politics:
The Republic of Moldova is an Eastern European country mostly known for its wine and perhaps the Twitter Revolution associated with the takeover of the Presidency and Parliamentary buildings during last year’s protests. However there are other things in Moldova that are impressive but less well known.
Currently Moldova is going through increased collaboration between civil society and the government and parliament. This collaboration is happening for a number of reasons. There are a large number of civil society representatives who are now members of Parliament and Government; there is the threat of elections, and there is the increased activism of civil society representatives.
The so-called “Twitter Revolution” for some (formerly it was a “Facebook
revolution”) in Moldova is definitively a New Media Revolution. Kevin Anderson,
the former BBC and Guardian digital editor said, “I will miss Moldova, the land
of plentiful free WiFi. Makes a nice change from paying several €X an hour everywhere else.” In this context, one of the newmedia innovative projects is PublicTV.md which was conceptualized two years ago by myself and Sergiu Ostaf, executive director of the Resource Center for Human Rights. Its goal was to cover civil society and other events that were neglected by the main stream media. It was also a reaction to the lack of professionalism shown by some journalists in Moldova who were covering
civil society news in a sensationalist and tabloid way. Our solution was to present events in their entirety without editing them. This unbiased reporting style gave those unable to attend meetings between civil society and government, an accurate picture of what took place.
Though it is wonderful to start new media projects, they have to be sustainable, and developed over time. This is how MediaPoint Network emerged. It created an ambitious mission of developing a global community of people and ideas promoting social innovation through new media; accomplishing it started in Moldova. It recruits people who are interested in new media and social innovation, trains them with the best specialists in the field from Moldova, sets organisational processes and helps other new media projects develop. The last event that MediaPoint organised was a two-day training course with editor Kevin Anderson. It was possible with the support of Transitions from Czech Republic and the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM). Mr Anderson presented tools used in social media for promoting socially positive aims. Delegates had civic, journalism, IT and business backgrounds – all able tomake use of this knowledge within their work.
The question to emerge from this project is what are the driving forces for all these civic, new media changes? They are the vision and social energy supported by coalitions and networking. This answer was supported at the Masterclass in Advocacy and Networking organised by the Resource Center for Human Rights (CReDO), Contact and World Window in Moldova and Euclid Network, in a project aiming to ‘strengthen civil society across borders to develop democracy’.
Participants had the opportunity to interact and learn about the experiences and tools used by Filippo Addarii, executive director of Euclid Network, and of Francesco Aloisio, president of APEL Service in Romania. Exciting insights was gathered from all participating NGO leaders. This insight was shared with others in the sector.
Many positive changes in Moldova are based on coalitions and partnerships; Civil
Society has been able to raise its influence on government and parliament. MediaPoint was able to develop all its projects based on members’ creativity and partnerships. We are now ready to take the best from Western society and using our own accomplishments to establish a mutually beneficial exchange for the benefit of Europe. Using new media, we can change the old politics.