In the last two years, Bulgaria has undergone a subtle yet steady period of improvement in press freedom. Long ranked among the worst countries in the EU for media freedom, the Eastern European country is finally now experiencing an upward trajectory after years of stagnation. After the formation of a coalition government following a protracted political crisis, there is cautious hope amongst the journalistic community that this positive momentum can now be consolidated. However, engrained challenges regarding media ownership, lawsuits and the safety of journalists continue, and recent gains are fragile.
In this webinar organised by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), we’ll hear from a leading newspaper editor, a media expert and press freedom advocate, and one of the country’s top media lawyers about the major developments in the last year, to ask about the conditions behind the subtle improvements in the press freedom environment and examine the many outstanding challenges that remain. The MFRR webinar will also look at the impact that the EU Commission’s planned European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) could have in Bulgaria and review the push to legislate against SLAPPs.
Antoinette Nikolov, Director of Balkan Free Media Initiative, former journalist at bTV
Alexander Kashumov, Leading media lawyer and SLAPP expert
Velislava Popova, Editor-in-chief of leading independent news outlet Dnevnik
Moderator: Jamie Wiseman, Advocacy Officer at International Press Institute (IPI)