The EBU, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) call for authorities to protect the independence of public service media in Bulgaria in light of journalists' protests in Sofia today.
On 13 September, Bulgarian National Radio (BNR)’s Horizont Channel came off air for almost 5 hours. The day before, the established BNR anchor and reporter Silvia Velikova had been suspended from her job.
As the EBU's recent report on Democracy and Public Service Media clearly demonstrates, strong, independent public service media is vital for the functioning of healthy democracies. As stipulated in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental rights and depriving citizens of access to these resources seriously undermines democratic principles.
Journalists must be able to exercise their professional duties free from fear of persecution and political pressure.
We call for a swift resolution of the current crisis and ask that BNR and its staff are given the institutional and editorial freedom to fulfil their important duty to society.