Conflicts between Bulgarian media groups and the decline of media freedoms in Bulgaria has drawn the attention of the European Commission, The New York Times reported on August 19.
The story, widely picked up by Bulgarian media on August 20, said that the European Commission “has vowed to monitor media freedoms closely.” The newspaper quoted European Commissioner Neelie Kroes as saying she planned to meet “relevant players when she travels to Sofia in September for a conference on broadband Internet.”
The report also quoted Reporters Without Borders and South East Europe Media Organisation (Seemo) media watchdogs, which believe that media freedoms in Bulgaria are on the decline.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Bulgaria 80th in this year’s World Press Freedom index, the lowest among European Union member states and 55 spots lower than in 2006. Seemo’s own report on Bulgaria’s media landscape, released earlier this year, drew heavily on interviews with local media professionals, who said that media owners’ business and political interests coloured the media coverage of issues and political figures.
New York Times also went into some detail concerning the spat between two of the country’s largest print media groups, which have escalated over the course of this summer (as has been reported in detail here).
(Photo: Griszka Niewiadomski/sxc.hu)