Bulgaria drops to 106th in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders

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bandeau_EnThe World Press Freedom Index of Reporters without Borders indicated a drop in the ranking of Bulgaria with another 6 places down to 106th out of 180 countries. The Bulgarian media receive the most negative overall assessment from all EU countries. Greece and Hungary, both a subject of fierce criticism regarding their media environment, took respectively 91st and 65th positions.
Reporters Without Borders define the pressure exerted on media reporting on issues of the bank sector by state financial regulators (see more) as the main reason for the ongoing drop in the ranking. “The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) turned into media police. The imposed fines and the orders to journalists to name sources of information clearly exposed the desire of those in power to silence media that would dare to point out issues in the bank and regulatory systems”, says the report. Reporters Without Borders criticized on several occasions (see here and here) the pressure exerted by the FSC and the Bulgarian National Bank on some Bulgarian media – Bivol, Capital, Mediapool, Zov News.
It should be noted that in 2013 Bulgaria first dropped to 100th in the index (whereas in 2002 the country was placed 38th) in result of the repeated cases of violence against journalists during the protests against the government of Plamen Oresharski.
The 2015 index records a general drop in the world as a whole in the settings for independent and free functioning of media. That is valid even for Europe which is traditionally ranking high. The drop stems from the bloodsheds in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, South Sudan, among others, where media had become an instrument of war. This process is further backed by the repressions against journalists and bloggers by paramilitary groups as Boko Haram, Islamic State, drug cartels in Latin America, police violence during protests as well as the ongoing economic crisis.
Finland, Norway and Denmark are on the top three places as the most free countries as far as media are concerned. They are followed by Holland, Sweden, New Zealand , Austria, Canada, Jamaica and Estonia to complete the top 10 list. At the bottom are Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
 
Picture: Reporters without Borders
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