Realitatea TV

Realitatea TV
Launched November 2001
Owned by Elan Schwarzenberg
Picture format 576i (4:3, SDTV)
Audience share 6.2% (Dec 2008, [1])
Slogan Deschide lumea (Open the world)
Country Romania
Broadcast area National; also distributed in
Headquarters Bucharest
UPC Romania Channel 401 (digital with DVR)
Channel 21 (digital)

Realitatea TV (Romanian pronunciation: [re.aliˈtate̯a teˈve], meaning "The Reality TV") is a Romanian news television network. The channel is distributed by many cable operators in Romania and Moldova. Its main owner is Romanian businessman Elan Schwartzenberg.

Realitatea TV is also available via the DTH platform Digi TV in Serbia, in the Romanian language extra package.

Although it began broadcasting in 2001 as a general-profile television, Realitatea TV soon became the first ever 24-hour Romanian news television (2002).

The station's programming lineup consists of newscasts, talk shows, debates and analysis, science and IT, TV magazines, and any form of informative program chosen by the editorial policy of the station or marketing research. This news channel brought together some of the most important media personalities in Romania: Mihai Tatulici, Rareş Bogdan


First decade and evolution under Silviu Prigoană and Sorin Ovidiu Vântu

Realitatea TV started broadcasting in 2001, as a general-profile TV station. However, it began broadcasting hourly newscasts and soon changed its format, becoming the first news television in Romania. Prigoană brought Ion Cristoiu to supervise the channel and rise its audience.

Since 2003, Realitatea TV has been the local broadcasting partner of CNN, being able to train its journalists through CNN's International Professional Program. In 2011 CNN signed a new partnership with Antena 3 instead. In 2004 Silviu Prigoană sold the network to an Italian company that later sold it to Petrom, which subsequently lost it to Sorin Ovidiu Vântu, sometime in 2006. Vântu was occasionally accused of using his television to manipulate public opinion against President Băsescu and his party.

Elan Schwarzenberg, RTV split and beyond

Publicly accused of manipulating polls and attacking Băsescu by using his channel against him, Vântu signed a managing contract with Sebastian Ghiță, owner and manager of Asesoft. Arrested and tired of being accused of manipulation, Vântu eventually sold Realitatea to Elan Schwarzenberg.

Both Vântu and Schwarzenberg reportedly encountered problems with Ghiță, the conflict ending in dividing Realitatea journalists between Elan Schwarzenberg's new headquarters, at Willbrook Platinum building in Bucharest and Ghiță's headquarters at Casa Presei Libere, where the new RTV channel was born, despite Schwarzenberg's protests and accusations that Asesoft stole his TV equipment.

Some of the international personalities interviewed through the years by Realitatea TV are: Saad Hariri, the son of the Lebanese Prime-Minister Rafik Hariri, killed in a bomb-attack in 2005, Abd al-Bari Atwan, the Palestinian journalist who spent 3 days in a cave with Ossama Bin Laden, Prince Charles and even former US President George W. Bush.


Realitatea TV has been highly criticized for its inaccuracy, delayed news and political favoritism. Sorin Ovidiu Vântu, convicted for death threats, has been repeatedly accused of manipulating the public opinion against political rivals of paying parties. This news agency is known for copying and translating western media news, without consent. It has also been reported that employees are subject to unpaid overtime, as well as un-ethical working conditions. Several western Internet Service Providers have blocked access to this, and related website Libertatea, due to malware hosting and pornographic materials.

Template News

Most of Realitatea TV news articles follow a common template. Below are examples of news headlines:

- "Bomb news": news referring to horrifying events - usually an overstatement

- "Turn of events": usually a misleading statement

- "Horrible attack": usually used for describing political statements between opposing parties

- "The truth": usually an overstatement of new evidence in relation to a previous news article

- "You will be chocked", "Incredible", and others.


A significant number of news articles on Realitatea suffer from misspellings, or inaccurate translations from original English language sources. Furthermore, Realitatea uses what some call "romgleza" a mix of Romanian and English words.

Violent video content with underaged children

In 2012, Realitatea TV posted a video with an underaged girl being beaten, without having its face blurred. Such event is being considered child abuse.


  1. "ARMA 2008_12" (PDF). ARMA.
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