Controversial Bulgarian lawmaker and businessman Delyan Peevski and his “media baseball bats” are cited in an extensive report of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as an important example of how oligarchs are conquering the media. The sulked face of the “successful young man” is even gracing the front page of the 60-page report entitled “Media: When Oligarchs Go Shopping ” published on July 20th and updated on July 28th on the website of the globally renowned human rights organization.
The report describes a worldwide phenomenon, the takeover of entire media groups or even entire media landscapes by “oligarchs,” extremely wealthy individuals whose interest in journalism is secondary to the defense of their personal interests. They buy up media not to increase media pluralism but to extend the scope of their own influence or the influence of their friends.
In countries such as Russia, Turkey, India and Hungary and even in what are supposed to be the most open democracies, billionaires use their fortunes to shop for media outlets. Occasionally they rescue newspapers or broadcast media groups for philanthropic reasons, but in most cases they put their media acquisitions in the service of their other business activities. The resulting conflicts of interest deprive journalists of their independence and at the same time deprive everyone else of their right to honestly reported news and information.
The Bulgarian contribution to this worldwide phenomenon is presented through the life and “career growth” of Delyan Peevski.
“With his mother’s help, the young Bulgarian oligarch Delyan Peevski has created a shadowy media empire in order to better intimidate and denigrate his detractors. It has been a successful strategy. The Peevskis are kingmakers despite frequent accusations of corruption and conflicts of interest,” the report says.
The entire text on Peevski can be found on pages 54 and 55.
RSF also write about the numerous slander attacks of Peevski’s media targeting Bivol and remind that the site has in just a few years established a reputation for well-substantiated investigative reporting and revelations about the Bulgarian and Balkan oligarchy.
The report further quotes Bivol’s Editor-in-Chief, Atanas Tchobanov, saying: “It’s harassment but in fact I take it as a compliment because it means that I’ve pressed where it hurts.”
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