Corruption and collusion between media, politicians, and oligarchs is widespread
Bulgaria continues to fall in the World Press Freedom Index and is ranked lower than any other European Union member. Although the current holder of the European Council’s rotating presidency (until the end of June 2018), Bulgaria is now lower in the Index than all the countries in the western Balkans, some of which are candidates for EU membership. Corruption and collusion between media, politicians, and oligarchs is widespread. The most notorious embodiment of this aberrant state of affairs is Deylan Peevski, a former head of Bulgaria’s main intelligence agency and owner of the New Bulgarian Media Group. His group has six newspapers and controls nearly 80% of print media distribution. The government’s allocation of EU funding to certain media outlets is conducted with a complete lack of transparency, in effect bribing them to go easy on the government in their reporting or refrain from covering certain problematic stories altogether. Threats and attacks against journalists have intensified in recent months. It can prove dangerous to be a journalist in Bulgaria.
109 in 2017
35.01 in 2017