“To get a director-general to step eight weeks later he took the place… something isn’t right,” he explained.
However, Baltakov says he’s witnessed little support for his move beside his coworkers at BNR, nor has he ever seen any strong opinions voiced on his position.
The press boss’ chief motivation was the truth he says a part of text by a draft modification to the Bulgarian Law on Television and Radio, which he worked with a group of business leaders, was eliminated before it was filed for public consultations about the Ministry of Culture’s site.
The draft focuses on the financing of public service websites and the removed text has been on handling boards, their paychecks, duties and liability, based on BNR.
“A politician can not simply change a draft and then take out sections, eliminate the opinions of specialists,” he explained.
“It was a crystal clear sign to me that there was no political will to change the public service websites into authentic independent organizations… to develop as separate from economic and political interference organizations”
The Ministry of Culture in Bulgaria advised Euronews the working class was made to provide”all of the parties a chance to run freely and widely the conversation on networking without imposing its position or policy.”
It included that the change is now up for public debate and”the view of everybody interested in the procedure will be taken into consideration”.
Bulgakov has since retracted his resignation because of what he says has been an emotional outpouring in the team, he chose to remain and”keep fighting” because of his channel to become independent,” free from political and financial sway” — but what’s he up against?
What is the media freedom situation in Bulgaria?
Because 2013 Bulgaria’s standing in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index has dropped 24 areas, standing in 111th at 2020.
The organization cites several events as proof for the minimal score on its barometers such as the suspension of journalists and the possession of top media.
The nation’s two most well-known media classes — NOVA Broadcasting Group and BTV Media Group — changed ownership and shortly after the deal to get the prior, investigative reporters Miroluba Benatova and Genka Shikerova were made to depart, RSF said.
Currently, a lecturer in comparative politics at Coventry University,” Dawson stated: “Bulgaria is the type of place in which you’ve got to be looking on social networking and beyond the mainstream papers if you would like to learn what’s happening.”
He cites online websites which are financed through donations as the leaders of investigative reporting from the nation, but states”journalists that do this type of stuff, they get private harassment”.
Staykov, a renowned Bulgarian journalist who uttered the NGO Anti-Corruption Fund, stated he received threatening telephone calls in June as a member of a”coordinated” effort of harassment he considers was connected to a continuing investigative documentary he’d generated about alleged country corruption.
But based on Gergana Dimova, a lecturer in the University of Winchester, while”that a vast majority of the press on the face is controlled by the authorities and pro-government oligarchs” importantly you will find”a few pockets’, where separate journalism resides, and at times thrives”.
While she states the amount of censorship and self-censorship is challenging to quantify, she included that the situation in Bulgaria is much more nuanced beyond the findings of the RSF report.
“Particular online outlets permit a free-ranging and frequently politically heated conversation in the comments section, which is where the cross-fertilization of governmental parts of the general public is happening,” based on Dimova.
“The main point is if you’re disgruntled with the authorities, and you’re coming home after a hard day of work, you’ll have a selection of political and news analysis to flick in your TV or monitor”
How can we get here?
“Probably the very severe thing that they were doing was breaking down on the press,” by the lecturer.
Dr. Maria Spirova, associate professor of comparative politics and global relations at the University of Leiden considers the phenomenon began far earlier, stating”there has been an overall drop in the press liberty throughout the previous 15 years”.
From the private sector, she attributes this to”a rather large concentration of media ownership at the hands of a few individuals… that then, of course, plays to the capability to influence not only staff conclusions but also editorial decisions.”
About the domestic radio and TV, she states the stations have”more or less open political connections with the authorities since they’re regulated by the boards which are also appointed from the many political actors”.
“If you have connections between the financial industry and authorities, then things become complex, which I presume is exactly what the situation is currently and has been for the previous four to five decades,” Spirova added.
Is change probably?
Bulgakov says that he desires the will of these authorities to create the changes and change BNR to a public-service media business.
“One has to put one’s home to proceed,” he explained, including several journalists in Bulgaria” have to return to the fundamentals” inciting them to use”reality, questioning and fact-checking”.
He states that BNR printed the entire law together along with the sections which were supposedly deleted and invites individuals to comment on it through social networking and the media’s site, he will subsequently submit to the Ministry of Culture — that the deadline for submitting answers and remarks on the change is 18 November.
Spirova believes this will be hard as connections between the political and economic universe in Bulgaria”were not built in the past half a year”.
She believes that the market, government, possession scenario within the press and technical issues like the access to investigative journalists that are ready and not afraid to perform their work are barriers to change.
“The older, very redundant story of being a pro or anti-communist is a type of receding to the dustbin of history,” he stated, “and it’s about if you think in unity and democracy and equity or never.”