Bulgaria Government and Media Profile

Bulgaria Political Orientation

Bulgaria - Government and Media - Right-Center BiasBulgaria Government and Media Country Profile


Government Type: Parliamentary Republic
Head of the state: The current President of the Republic of Bulgaria is Rumen Radev
Leader: Prime Minister Galab Donev
Political Party: Independent
Political Position: Center-Right

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 70.84 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank:
Bulgaria 71/180

In 2023 Reporters Without Borders ranked Bulgaria 71/180 in their Press Freedom Index, stating that “Despite increasing international pressure, media freedom in Bulgaria has not improved.” 

Various forms of media pressure are common in Bulgaria, such as physical attacks on investigative journalists or Media outlets such as public radio and TV. For example, the chief of Bulgarian National Radio, Silvia Velikova, who is critical of the government, was taken off the air due to her coverage of the “graft-prone judicial system.” Reuters reports, “Velikova was reinstated after intervention by former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov following a public outcry.” Public service broadcasting in Bulgaria, including BNR, is financed mainly through a state subsidy.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

The Government subsidizes national public broadcasting organizations such as Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA – Bulgaria’s national news agency). The Council for Electronic Media (CEM) is the media regulator for broadcast media in Bulgaria; they appoint the directors of Bulgarian National Television (BNT) and Bulgarian National Radio (BNR). According to the Radio and Television Act, the media regulator consists of five members, three of whom are elected by the National Assembly, and the President appoints two. In general, public broadcasters are primarily funded by government subsidies, although determining the rates is not transparent. These public broadcasters, particularly BNT, are underfunded. There is very little transparency in Bulgaria when it comes to ownership of media. Although he sold some of his assets, most of the print media in Bulgaria is owned by politician-businessman Delyan Peevski and his mother, Irena Krasteva. Reporters without Borders report that “The government continues to allocate EU and public funding to media outlets with a complete lack of transparency.” 

In conclusion, the Bulgarian Government has direct and indirect control and influence over the media outlets since most of them are directly and indirectly financed by the government and political parties. The lack of transparency in allocating funds makes it difficult for media consumers to determine the level of government influence and bias.

Country Rating Methodology

Top 5 Bulgaria Media Sources by Web Rank

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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