Sat, 18 May 2024

Gambling czar’s “gross interference” in Romanian press

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by Edward Steen, S-G, Vienna, October 8, 2023

Everyone who uses a computer knows the annoying, insistent flow of get-rich-quick advertising online. In Romania, the shadowy and powerful Swiss-based Ringier company, active across much of Europe, has emerged into the limelight and provoked media-wide protests. Our AEJ section in Bucharest is standing firm behind media being outrageously bullied by Ringier. AZIR‘s Secretary General Catalin-Teodor Dogaru writes:

“There has been a major issue in Romania related to the interference of a media group – Ringier – in the editorial part of two important newspapers – Gazeta Sporturilor (GSP) & Libertatea.

Outraged – Catalin-Teodor of Romanian AEJ

The managerial team of Ringier asked the editor-in-chief and all the other journalists to submit to their approval any article related to the gambling industry (and more).

Leaving: veteran sports journalist Cătălin Țepelin

The journalists from these two newspapers protested and opposed this interference, requesting full editorial freedom. 

Consequently, the CEO of Ringier immediately terminated the contract of Cătălin Țepelin, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Sporturilor, triggering the protest not only of the journalists from GSP and Libertatea, but, also, from the whole Romanian mass-media.

We, AZIR, rallied to this protest and published our protest on our website and social media: see Link.


AZIR expresses its solidarity with the journalists of GSP and Libertatea editorial offices, who have publicly complained about editorial pressures from the Ringier group management.

We strongly support the message of support sent by the Centre for Investigative Journalistim  (CJI) and Activewatch and protest against any attempt to violate the independence of the press.

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