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October 6, 2022

Head of dedicated Senate committee says mass media extensively divided

Social Democrat Senator Georgica Severin, chairman of the Upper House Committee on culture and media, says that not only the political and social life is divided, but mass media too no longer shows solidarity.

“One of the biggest issues we face is this division that is manifest not only in political and social life, but in mass media too. I’ve been in this activity area for some time and I remember that the journalists’ solidarity used to be higher, you could work for different media groups, hold different opinions, but in the evening we were pals, we would meet and exchange views. Now, not only do we see sky-high rivalry, but things have shifted to personal hatred, to the point where mass media is no longer solidary,” Georgica Severin said on Thursday during a debate.

He gave the example of the stances voiced in the media following the Constitutional Court’s decision on wiretaps, explaining that “one simply had to cast an eye on the respective stance on CCR’s decision to instantly know what institution the one deploring the fact that wiretapping is no longer allowed works for.”

“When press no longer has as paramount desideratum the respect for human rights and the citizen’s rights – because that seems to fundamental to me – we obviously have a press that works for one service or another, as this was so obvious these days, as proven by the stances expressed on the Constitutional Court’s decision,” Severin told the debate held at the Senate’s Expert Committee on the assessment of the state of democracy and rule of law in Romania.

In Severin’s opinion, regrettably, democracy in Romania has “greatly degraded.” “One way or another, we live in a state where elective democracy is on the verge of abandonment and we see that all important decisions are taken by appointees who haven’t experienced the fire of elections and who don’t return after four years to answer for all their actions, and we see that all the terms in office are being extended on completely different criteria. The press cannot be otherwise. The economic aspects, the real problems facing the press and the special cases have also been tackled,” said Severin.

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