FORUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS// Cornelia Cozonac, President of CIJM: "The forum is a platform for professionals in the field."


The Center for  Investigative Journalism from Moldova (CIJM) boasts 20 years of experience in conducting journalistic investigations, with many journalists specializing in this area beginning their careers at the Center. This was stated by Cornelia Cozonac, President of CIJM, during the Forum of Investigative Journalists, where she highlighted the Center's main achievements and emphasized the transformative potential of journalistic approaches in society. In Chisinau, the Forum of Investigative Journalists, organized by the Center for Journalistic Investigations of Moldova (CIJM) and the Independent Press Association (API), is ongoing. Designed as a unique platform for professionals in the field, the event facilitates the exchange of performance and experience in one location. Journalists from the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan participate in the forum.

Cornelia Cozonac, President of the Center for Investigative Journalism, noted that the Forum of Journalists in Moldova serves as a platform for excellence in the field, attracting participants with extensive experience in uncovering abuses and exposing illegal schemes.

"We do not compromise on professional ethics. Over the past 20 years, we have conducted over 1000 journalistic investigations. Despite countless pressures, problems, lawsuits, and various attacks, our team has persevered. In our small Moldova, defending the corrupt often outweighs supporting journalists who work to expose corruption. We have faced numerous pressures but have continued to have the courage to move forward and expose corruption because we have had brave, daring, persistent, and fair journalists in our team each time. Politicians may come and go, but we remain steadfast in our work!

Many journalists have grown and received training within our team, which has been the best of all time. Some of them are now part of the best teams. None of the journalists who were part of our team have gone to press outlets of Shor, Plahotniuc, or Dodon. With us, they have developed a backbone that cannot be bent by anyone. The Center has always provided journalists with a glimmer of hope and has supported them even when we had no resources.

In over 20 court cases, those targeted in our investigations wanted to silence us, or put us on the backburner , but they failed. Even though they demanded millions from us, and losing just one case would have been enough to prevent us from continuing our work. We have not lost any lawsuits in which we have been involved. The only lost case in the country concerns access to information, which we initiated against some important state institutions, and is now pending at the European Court of Human Rights. Over the past 20 years, we have conducted hundreds of journalistic investigations, with several dozen serving as the basis for criminal cases. The protagonists of these investigations have lost their positions or ended up in prison, including in other countries where justice has done the work that prosecutors turned a blind eye to.

As a result of some of our journalistic investigations, changes have been made to legislation. Dozens of politicians, experts, law enforcement officers, and journalists have participated in our press clubs or collaborated with us on investigations and activities. I am proud of our achievements, of the individuals who have grown professionally with us, and from whom we have learned as well. This demonstrates that independent and professional journalism can be done in Moldova. You can investigate any topic, and know that you have somewhere to publish it. The satisfaction of doing professional work is what truly matters.

We are grateful to those who supported us when we embarked on this bold adventure, during difficult times, and to those who have contributed to the reputation of the Center for Journalistic Investigations bit by bit. These 20 years encapsulate an extraordinary story of courage, professionalism, team spirit, freedom of expression, and remarkable individuals. We will continue to tell this remarkable story in the months to come," said Cornelia Cozonac.

The Forum of Investigative Journalists is organized within the Project "Consolidating a network of investigative journalists in the Republic of Moldova and increasing their capacity to investigate corruption cases", implemented by the Center for  Investigative Journalism from Moldova and the Association of Independent Press, within the program  "Strengthening the rule of law and anti-corruption mechanisms in the Republic of Moldova", co-financed by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Great Britain, and implemented by the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ)



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