Romania: Party leader's idea for news probe upsets reporters

Dozens of Romanian journalists and independent organizations have criticized the chairman of the country's ruling party for saying authorities should investigate the funding behind certain news sites.

Social Democratic Party Chairman Liviu Dragnea made the comment Sunday after a broadcast reporter asked if the government and Romanian intelligence agencies should verify how news sites that publish stories critical of the government are financed.

Dragnea answered in the affirmative and said the government should draw up legislation to make it happen. He said: "Why should these things be secret?"

On Monday, nine non-government organizations and 33 journalists and publications called Dragnea's comments "an unprecedented act of intimidation on independent journalists."

G4Media, which Dragnea previously singled out for disapproval, said the party chairman is "obsessed" with journalists who reported critically on him.