Association of the European Journalists (AEJ) in Bulgaria invokes an investigation and revision of the state funding for four Bulgarian media. The required inspection will have to check if there is any conflict of interests in the contracts of the Ministry of Culture with private companies and media concerning Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU in 2018. AEJ is shocked by the decision to spend public money by funding 4 connected media companies – 'Standard Daily', 'Standard Agency', 'Blitz Agency' and 'Pik Agency'.
Hundreds of artists, professors and ordinary citizens have signed a petition to the prime-minister Boyko Borisov with an appeal to demand the resignation of the minister of culture Vezhdi Rashidov. "The freedom of speech is not an abstraction but a fundamental human right. We have been witnessing acts of outright pressure by minister Vezhdi Rashidov towards a respected journalist from the Bulgarian National Television as well as critics of Rashidov who were fired from the National art gallery in a questionable manner, after their critical statements in a TV show. We consider such actions as highly unacceptable in an European and a democratic country, therefore we cannot stay indifferent...", the petition writes.
Bulgarian Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov demonstrated blatant attempt of political pressure on journalist of public broadcaster BNT. In letter to the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), the minister expresses his discontent towards the criticism of experts in the TV programme of the journalist Georgi Angelov, addressing Angelov with the words: "I advise him not to constantly ironize the state, which pays his salary too". Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ) insists on immediate resignation of Vezhdi Rashidov as a minister of culture.
According to a survey of public attitudes, conducted by The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Foundation "Media Democracy", only one in eight Bulgarians believes the media are free. The Bulgarian media sector continues to enjoy a poor reputation.
The Association of European journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ - Bulgaria), strongly reacted against the demand of deputy chairman of the Bulgarian Parliament - Dimiter Glavchev, who insists that the National Security Agency should investigate Mediapool.bg for its sources of information. “We believe that the deputy chairman’s appeal is a dangerous precedent that could force an atmosphere of intimidation and provoke self-censorship”, says the AEJ – Bulgaria.
Twenty-nine journalists from different countries, together with the European Court of Justice, have filed 27 complaints against the European Parliament, which allegedly refused to give information on how MEPs spend their allowances.
Hristo Mladenov, a politician and leader of the "Meshere", an informal Roma tribunal, threatened the journalist Veronica Dimitrova with "civil war" and "pre-election riot" because of her tv investigation. Dimitrova discovered connections between Mladenov's party and the pocket-picking mafia in Bulgaria.
President Petro Poroshenko banned two BBC correspondents from Ukraine along with many Russian journalists and public figures. Тhe Bulgarian journalists Elena Joncheva and Bulgarian nationalist MP Magdalena Tasheva are also on the blacklist.