Category Archives: Media Ownership

Media (In)Dependence in Bulgaria: Risks and Trends

As a result of the economic crisis of 2009 and the rise in internet usage, print media in Bulgaria lost a significant portion of its traditional financing and became an easy target for external influence. At the beginning of the 2010s, oligarchic groups accumulated a ‘media empire’ (including print and online media, TV, printing and distribution facilities) that engaged in political engineering, utilizing media as a direct tool for state capture during the political crisis of 2013 – 2014.

For more details, read the related policy brief.

Free speech takes a beating in Greece

Against a backdrop of heavy austerity measures in Greece, free speech and the right to protest are being both challenged and undermined. The policies are the result of agreements between the government and the so-called troika, made up of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Since 2010, steps taken to restore fiscal balance have led to the impoverishment of large segments of society and unemployment has reached new highs: 26.8 per cent in October 2012. At the same time, the rise of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, with an agenda of targeting immigrants, homosexuals and “dissidents” of all kinds, has created palpable social tensions. Police repress protests and political activity by a range of groups, including anarchists and leftists, a fact that has been widely documented. These tactics have been regarded by many as evidence that the government is adopting an authoritarian stance when it comes to criticism and dissent. Continue reading