Bulgaria | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Political interference in the management of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) strained the high level of press freedom guaranteed by the constitution and generally observed. Journalists protested against the nomination of the radio's general director, claiming his appointment by the National Council for Radio and Television was politically motivated. The Supreme Court canceled the appointment, but the BNR dismissed many of the protesting journalists and replaced them with members of the ruling political coalition. Police later barred journalists from the studios and seven leaders of the protest were dismissed. Still later, parliament replaced the national radio and television council with the Electronic Media Council selected by parliament and the president. Still in the penal code are harsh defamation laws which can be used to inhibit the press from reporting freely. The press, however, remains lively and diverse.