In the context of World Press Freedom Day, marked annually on 3 May, the Moldovan Club of Intellectual Games, in partnership with the ZdG’s Youth Board, organised a special edition of their traditional Quiz. The “Media in Questions and Answers” event gathered 33 teams, both online and offline, and had various questions about politics, journalism, corruption and other interesting topics.
The winning teams received special prizes from ZdG. First place was awarded to the team “Acord”, which accumulated the most points. The team consisted of Alexandru Fala (economist), Egor Boaghi (IT specialist/programmer), Mihai Rusu (economist), Tatiana Kuzminov (translator), Cezara Anton (doctor) and Daniel Stognienco (economist).
“Intellectual games require three components: knowledge, logic and intuition”
Alexandru Fala, captain of the winning team, told ZdG that the team has been playing together for many years, as he has been an active player since 2001. “Everyone has their own personal motivation for participating in these quizzes, but for many this is an opportunity to spend time in a useful and interesting way. But there is also a category of people who read books, watch movies, assimilate information and need to use it somewhere, and intellectual games are the perfect opportunity to use this information,” said the captain of the “Acord” team.
-How does an intellectual games team stay on top?
-It has evolved over time, in different competitions we have managed to achieve certain results. Personally, I train when I succeed. For example, if I watch a film, I go on wikipedia and do extra research, read about the year of production, general information (synopsis, awards, actors, director). When I have even 5 minutes to spare I try to read and learn something new. But after you play longer, you also develop an automatic sense of drawing attention to certain information. But just as much as the experience itself matters, a pattern forms – that is, the format of the question already suggests direction and gives you a clue to the answer. Some people may train in a particular way (listening to music, watching films, reading), for others it’s experience that counts. Intellectual games require three components: knowledge, logic and intuition.
-What can you tell us about freedom of the press?
-I am a supporter of both democracy and freedom of the press, but freedom of the press has to come in the context of fact-checking. I understand that people can be biased, but there has to be a fair presentation – that’s a big responsibility, because the press has to inform people fairly.
“We were delighted with the proposal to organise a special edition dedicated to Press Freedom Day”
Octav Sirețeanu is the president of the Moldovan Intellectual Games Club, which has been organising quiz competitions for 10 years.
“We decided to diversify the contests, because until then we used to organize mostly What? Where? When? Nowadays, we run them almost weekly. It’s a slightly lighter format, with more media inserts, more diverse and simpler questions than those aimed at more experienced participants. It’s quite a big effort on our part, especially as all members of the organising team work in other fields as well. Even so, we get a big dose of satisfaction when we get things right. We also try to contribute to the public’s interest in reading and what is happening around us. We were very pleased with the proposal to organise a special edition dedicated to Press Freedom Day, because it’s an interesting field and we probably have quite a lot in common with journalists who try to find and communicate interesting and useful information to readers.”
Testimonies from ZdG journalists about participating in the Quiz
Two teams of journalists from the Ziarul de Gardă participated for the first time in the World Press Freedom Day Quiz. A seven-member team was in the room and another team answered questions online. For most of us this was our first experience of participating in such a competition.
The quiz exceeded my expectations. There were diverse and interesting questions. However, my best impressions of the event are related to the ZdG team. We worked as a team, joked around and had a great time together. Although we thought we would have a modest result, I think we did pretty well for a first attempt.
Although at first I was a bit skeptical and even thought it would be hard for us, once the game started, we started to feel better and better. There were a lot of very intelligent questions, and the 3-4 questions inspired by articles written by the Guardian newspaper, to which we obviously knew the answers, gave us a kind of boundless pride. But, we also knew many other answers from other areas, and that, too, made us feel good. We laughed a lot, we rejoiced like children when we knew or sensed an answer, we were saddened when we found out that although we knew the answer, we didn’t write it down because we weren’t sure. And this means that the event was, at least for us, a very successful one, which made us want to participate in future editions of the Quiz.
Participating in the Quiz was another opportunity to strengthen the ZdG team, as well as an opportunity to have fun together in a competitive and fun environment. I liked the cleverly formulated questions, especially those inspired by the articles in the Guardian newspaper. They piqued our curiosity and we used all our resources, knowledge and intuition to give as many correct answers as possible. Logic games are a very good tool to train our minds, especially for journalists, and I think it would be useful and interesting for us to participate in such competitions.
The Youth Board of the ZdG met online and we invited others to join us. So, in the team were Laura and Ruxanda, connected from Germany, Petru from Chisinau and me from the UK. Our guests were Anastasia Suslov, who played from Balti (in the North of Moldova), and Ioana Vatamanu-Mărgineanu, who was sending us answers all the way from Niagara Falls on the American continent! Under the name “Young people from everywhere”, our team got a good score. What we all appreciated most was the ingenuity of those who wrote the questions (kudos to CMJI), managing to pack so many resonant themes into intriguing and to-the-point questions. We really enjoyed hearing the noise and buzz of the teams in the background when they heard the right answers, especially when those answers had to do with the state of press freedom and the successes of journalism in Moldova. We are confident that we will participate in these quizzes again and urge everyone to take regular doses of intellectual games and free press!