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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘The Invisible Hand of Media Censorship in the Balkans’

Antoinette Nikolova, founding father of the Balkan Free Media Initiative, introduced the primary findings of a report entitled: “The Invisible Hand of Media Censorship in the Balkans”. The report is the primary report of the Balkan Free Media Initiative which was launched within the Brussels Press Club (12 October). The report shines a lightweight on the scenario in Serbia, North Macedonia and Bulgaria, however there are wider classes to be learnt for the EU and wider Europe. 

The report seems at how industrial practices employed by state actors can undermine goal journalism, management public discourse and assist governments consolidate political energy performing as a risk to democracy.

The report examines three strategies used to manage media markets: Control of public broadcasters and regulatory authorities; lack of transparency in possession, the enabling of management of media shops by governments or their proxies; and, a tradition of clientelism via authorities promoting and/or grants. 

One of the audio system on the occasion Peter Whitehead of Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) mentioned that state management of the media was notably pervasive in Balkan states.  The report seems at state management of the media via completely different industrial practices. While the report focuses on Balkan international locations, it has actually been witnessed elsewhere in Europe. 

Peter Horrocks OBE, previously of the BBC World Service and member of the UK’s media regulatory physique Ofcom referred to as on the European Union to do extra within the area of competitors coverage to handle the scenario. 

EU Reporter spoke to Radan Kanev MEP (EPP, BG) concerning the scenario in Bulgaria. Intimidation of journalists and bodily violence are well-documented, on the current protests in Sofia in 2020, Dimitar Kenarov was detained and assaulted by police there was no passable redress. Recently, editor of Euractiv Bulgaria, Georgi Gotev, an outspoken defender of unbiased reporting on Bulgaria, who chaired Tuesday’s launch was attacked on a road in Brussels, the assailant was not recognized, nevertheless it seems to be one other act of intimidation. 

Kanev described the report is a really robust doc, possibly one of the vital critical items of analysis into the Balkan media market. Kanev says the EU must cease help for programmes for the media the place the cash is channelled via the chief, he thinks this ought to be administered immediately by the European Commission. 

Bulgaria will maintain elections for the third time this 12 months on 14 November. 

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