Bulgaria: Deputy PM threatened TV journalist Viktor Nikolaev

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are concerned about threats from politicians on Bulgarian TV journalist Viktor Nikolaev. The EFJ and IFJ join the Union of Bulgarian Journalists (UBJ) in its call to end harassment of journalists and support freedom of expression in the country. Viktor Nikolaev, journalist for NOVA TV, was threatened by Member of Parliament Anton Todorov and Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Simeonov (our picture) during live broadcast of his morning show last Friday. Todorov and Simeonov threatened the journalist to lose his job if he continued to ask questions about the purchase of fighter aircraft for the…

Bulgaria: recruitment, working conditions, investigative journalism among top priorities for journalists

The Union of Journalists in Bulgaria (SJBP Podkrepa, EFJ affiliate) has successfully held its 9th national conference on 25/06/2015 at the conference hall of the Confederation of Labour Syndicate in Sofia (Bulgaria). Reneta Nikolova, TV journalist, author and presenter of the rubric We and the Law at the Bulgarian National Televison, has been re-elected as President of Podkrepa with an absolute majority, she will work in tandem with her deputy Yavor Simov, an investigative journalist. The SJBP Podkrepa has 187 members and the main objectives of the new leadership are the following : recruitment of new members improving working conditions for journalists support investigative journalism sharing European best…

Commissioner Muiznieks: “Media freedom in Bulgaria is threatened by a combination of practices”

“Despite existing legal guarantees, media freedom in Bulgaria is currently impeded or threatened by a combination of practices which, taken together, create an environment conducive to widespread self- censorship among journalists and undue external pressure on media,” said the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks in a special report published today (22/06/2015) about the situation of human rights and media freedom in Bulgaria. “This new report published by the Commissioner for Human Rights confirms the bad reputation of the Bulgarian media. The country is regularly named as the lowest ranking European Union member state for media freedom in several international…

Police in Bulgaria attacking TV 7 to prevent broadcasting

Today (29/04/2015), police forces in Bulgaria entered to the building of private television channel TV7 in order to impound the television’s property and get off the TV equipment preventing it from broadcasting. Bulgarian citizens were alerted by the increasing number of police forces out of the building. According to the EFJ affiliate in Bulgaria, SBJ or the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, TV staff and journalists are resisting and refused to allow the police to enter the TV headquarter without seeing any judicial order. They have also requested to talk with Kristina Dimitrova, the head of the Bulgarian police called Bailiff. According to the SBJ, this police action is a blatant violation of press…

Bulgaria: progress needed to improve media freedom

At the end of a three-day visit to Bulgaria, Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said today he was concerned at the insufficient transparency of media ownership and financing and lack of action against media concentration.This has reportedly resulted in a media landscape worryingly characterised by many outlets serving few interests. “Genuine media pluralism is the institutional guarantee for the fulfillment of the right to receive and impart information and the authorities must take steps to secure it”, said Nils Muižnieks. Referring to the recent imposition of high fines by the Bulgarian financial supervision authority on media reporting on companies’ financial…