There are two mentions of Bulgarian media in the European Commission report on the “occasion of the tenth anniversary” of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) that was released on Wednesday, January 25.

The main report says that the “Bulgarian media environment is characterized by low independence and ineffective enforcement of journalistic standards, which has negative influence on public debate on reforms” and “a direct bearing on the ability to deliver reform“. This finding is illustrated with a reference to а footnote on the Reporters Without Borders media freedom ranking, where Bulgaria occupies the dishonorable 113th place.

 

On page 24 of the Technical Report, however, an “independent website for investigatory journalism” that has published the recordings known as “Yaneva Gate” is mentioned. Can you guess the site?

The contrast between the euphemistic “low independence” and the resounding definition of Bivol as “independent” speaks for itself.

Three years ago, journalists from Bivol, together with other colleagues, tabled a proposal to expand the CVM monitoring to the area of media freedom. Highlighting the problem in the tenth report appears to be an indication that our appeal has been heard in Brussels and this is another fact that we welcome with satisfaction.

At the same time, Europe does not give even a dime for independent investigative journalism, while the money for promoting European programs goes to the murkiest tabloids of the oligarchs that poison the public debate.

The key to our independence has always been the same: no grants, no EU funding, revenues only from advertisement and support from readers, who donate because they want to read quality investigative journalism stories. It is simple, but it requires dedication, efficiency and professionalism.

 

This post is also available in: Bulgarian