There is a rather widespread practice of indirectly subsidising the media in Bulgaria through state advertising; this is particularly true of money coming from EU operational funds, which are channelled to media outlets either directly, or through selected media agencies. According to media observers, these advertising deals are usually made in exchange for taking a pro-government line.
These are part of the results from the report about Bulgaria produced in the frame of “Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe” project. The project is funded by the European research council.
The social situation of journalists in Bulgaria appears in general to be rather difficult, and has undoubtedly worsened during the current period of economic crisis, state also the author of the report. The average monthly salary of a journalist is estimated to be less than BGN 1,000 (some EUR 500), which is above the national average (BGN 680);however big differences in salaries exist between the capital and the country. In the state television broadcaster BNT, the average monthly salary (comprising however both journalists and other types of staff) was BGN 1,010 in 2010.
Despite occasional incidents, direct physical intimidation is not the most common type of pressure journalists in Bulgaria experience. As many observers agree, it is rather the increasing penetration of actors from the shadow economy into the media’s organisational structures which poses a greater, albeit less obvious, danger for media freedom
More about media landscape in Bulgaria on Media and Democracy project page.