The Impact of ActiveWatch
The direct beneficiaries of our rapid intervention, notification and advocacy work are minorities and vulnerable groups, journalists, citizens, media consumers and users and the business environment.
We have influenced the EU policies regarding Romania in the pre-accession period by:
- Submitting open letters, reports and reviews to the structures of the European Commission;
- Involvement in working groups for the amendment of national legislation – for example, the Block of anti-corruption laws and laws for the functioning of Justice, Penal and Civil Codes.
We have contributed in the writing and completion of national legislation to guarantee freedom of expression and access to information:
- Law 544/2001 on free access to information of public interest;
- Law 52/2003 of Decision-making transparency in the public administration;
- Law 504/2002 – the Audiovisual Law;
- The Code for the Regulation of the Audiovisual;
- The Penal Code.
We have consolidated the freedom of expression and media freedom by means of:
- The legal and technical support granted to the hundreds of journalists and newsrooms and the dozens of rapid responses for the breach of the right to freedom of expression;
- The annual publishing of the FreeEx Report – a review of the situation of the Romanian media. The report is constantly quoted in the documents of national and international organizations;
- The publishing of relevant studies in the European and international case law regarding the freedom of expression and the access to public interest information to help Romanian journalists, magistrates and attorneys in their work;
- Training courses and seminars with journalists, students, lawyers, judges, public officers and media managers;
- The coordination of the Convention of Media Organizations, a union of professional associations, trade unions and several media employers;
- The support granted to media trade unions in the negotiation of the first employment agreement at a branch level;
- Producing the first TV program dedicated to the life of Romanian media - Of, Presa mea! (during 2002 and 2006).
We have been promoting the media responsibility by means of:
- Projects for the information and promotion of the media consumers' rights;
- Preparing media review reports by means of which we outlined deviations from the ethical and deontological norms;
- Drawing up the Unique Deontological Code passed by the Convention of Media Organizations, the provisions of which have also been taken over by other media organizations in the country;
- Organizing meetings and seminars and writing letters addressed to the media in the event of deviations from the ethical norms;
- Providing assistance to the National Council of the Audiovisual to improve their media monitoring methods;
- Ongoing media monitoring during election campaigns. The media monitoring reports have become reference tools for the journalists, the collegiate environment, students, politicians and the NGOs.
In the field of media education, we have brought changes to the school curriculum for high school education by means of:
- Publishing the first textbook in Romania dedicated to media education, in two editions;
- Organizing training courses in the media education field for Romanian teachers ( e.g. the MediaSIS course);
- Conducting studies and workshops with students and teachers in secondary schools in the media education field;
- Publishing supporting materials for the teachers interested in promoting media education among students.
We have supported disadvantaged groups in Romania by means of:
- Promoting the rights of people with disabilities;
- Promoting the importance of integrating people with disabilities into the workplace;
- Promoting an fair media reporting with respect to minorities;
- Coordinating rapid responses in the cases in which police officers, dignitaries, politicians or opinion leaders have offended or delivered speeches that risked endangering the minorities' rights;
- Organizing training courses for members of the Roma organizations in order to become PR specialists and to be able to effectively and responsibly promote the actions of their own organizations;
- Initiating and influencing legislative modifications and blocking several initiatives that risked threatening the status of the vulnerable groups in Romania;
- Contributing to the establishment of the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (CNCD);
- Notifying the CNCD in many discrimination cases;
- Drawing up the first guide dedicated to government and non-profit institutions in order to effectively prevent discrimination in Romanian society;
- Producing the most long-lasting TV program dedicated to the issues of the Roma group: Rom European (from 2004 till the present).
- We have been promoting the citizen's rights by means of:
- Instructing journalists, non-government organizations and trade unions with respect to methods of measuring the level of corruption in the Romanian public administration, and with respect to methods of active intervention;
- Drawing up anti-corruption guides for citizens;
- Organizing coalitions and campaigns that followed the fairness of the European funds spending in Romania (Coalition 112 for Structural Funds; The Transparency of European funds in Romania etc.) and of the legislative processes in Romania (Coalition for a Clean Parliament, Stop the Codes Campaign etc.);
- Promoting the principles of good governance and stimulating the citizens' participation in the cities' life ("You are the city!" Campaign, The governance criminal record etc.);
- Information and awareness campaigns of the general public regarding the importance of environment protection.