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Media freedom:(Adenauer Found.),for independent is difficult

Spahr in Sofia for South East Europe Media Forum

03 December, 14:59
(ANSA) - SOFIA, 3 DIC - "Bulgaria is an interesting case because it is ranked very low in terms of media freedom but this not because critical journalists are put in prison by the government like in Turkey or in other countries". This is what te Director of Media Program South East Europe of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Christian Spahr, think about media freedom in Bulgaria, where he partecipated to "Public discourse in Europe: Can media help to save democracy?", two-days International Conference Seemf (South East Europe Media Forum) in Sofia (Bulgaria) organized by South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO; Vienna), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Berlin), Central European Initiative (Cei; Trieste).

Seemf debated about the role of media business today in the context of fake news, populism, budget constraints and the digital revolution. Spahr talked with ANSA about media freedom situation in Bulgaria.

In some countries of Balkans region the freedom of the press is reduced, more than in the western ones. Which do you think about it? "Bulgaria is an interesting case because it is ranked very low in terms of media freedom but this not because critical journalists are put in prison by the government like in Turkey or in other countries - answered Spahr - it is a different situation and it is mainly due to the fact that oligarchs own the media and the media owners don't have an interest in the independent journalism. They use media as PR instrument and their own political purposes and so there is not a lot of room and also not a market for independent journalism and this makes it difficult".

Do you think journalists are autonomous in Bulgaria? "I think there is still the possibility to write what you want, there is the possibility to create new media outlets and we have to encourage independent journalists who want to start their own projects, who want to increase the media diversity, we have to work with this media representatives".

That's the aim of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung... "Yes, we KAS offer training for investigative journalists, also for other groups of journalists and it is important also to have public conferences to talk about the shortcoming in this field in order to work together for better common European standards in the field of media, and we have to remind politicians and media owners about this standards, because if we don't discuss it in public we will forget about it". (ANSA).

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