On the 14th of December, the Institute for Public Environment Development held the conference “Media in 2021. Funding and Transparency – Problems and Solutions”. The event was hosted by the French Institute in Sofia.
In the beginning of the conference Mrs. Florence Robine, Ambassador of France in Bulgaria, Mr. Lenko Lenkov, Program Director, Business Enabling Environment, the America for Bulgaria Foundation and Mrs. Iva Lazarova, Executive Director of IPED mentioned the importance of the independent media in the country and the role of the NGO sector in this regard.
The first panel of the event was a discussion between the journalists Genka Shikerova (TV1 and Free Europe), Marieta Dimitrova (Blagoevgrad News), Nikolai Marchenko (Buffalo), Polina Paunova (Free Europe) and Alexander Levy (Courrier International), who together with the guests had the opportunity to discuss the connection between media ownership, editorial policy and the quality of media content.
During the conference IPED presented a study of the problems of transparency of public funding for the media in Bulgaria and the possibility of improving its accountability. The French experience in this field was shared by Mr. Paul-Stéphane Manier, part of the Board for Journalistic Ethics and Mediation in France. In the following discussion on the topic the Director of the Copyright Directorate at the Ministry of Culture, Mr. Mehti Melikov and Ms. Teodora Peeva, Editor-in-Chief of SEGA newspaper, discussed the deficits of the existing media register and proposals for its improvement.
In the final part of the event, Mr. Pavol Szalai from Reporters Without Borders and Mrs. Irina Nedeva from the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria discussed the changes in the media environment in Bulgaria in 2021.
The meeting was moderated by Mrs. Silvia Velikova from the Bulgarian National Radio.