Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

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State of Emergency: Corona, the Media and new Rules in South East Europe

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic influences the daily life immensely and is responsible for sev-eral restrictions in our lives. Especially in these times of crisis it is important that the citizens receive correct information. Journalists and media play therefore a vital role. In the current con-text serious and reliable media are even more important as the current pandemic is also an “in-fodemic” where a lot of false information is spread. Thus, local authorities in South East Europe are not only fighting against the spread of the virus, but also against fake news and disinforma-tion. However, there comes the danger that the crisis is being used to turn off unwanted, critical voices.

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Russian Dominance on Moldovan Media Market prevails

Due to its Soviet past, the Russian influence in the Republic of Moldova is still very significant. The country is divided between European integration and Russian convergence. After the government of the pro-European coalition ACUM leaded by Maia Sandu and the pro-Russian Party of Socialists (PSRM) of President Igor Dodon fell apart in November 2019, pro-Russian powers under the leadership of Dodon are expanding its power progressively. This affects the media market, which already has experienced an enormous state concentration under the long-time government of the Democratic Party and its leader Vladimir Plahotniuc.

KAS MP SOE

No Transmission of Critical Voices

In Serbia there is currently an economic crime thriller happening on the television market and this before the parliament elections on the 26th April. The story is about several cable providers and the media group „United Media“ (parent enterprise: „United Group“) with its TV channel N1 that belongs to the media companies in Serbia which report critically about the government. The state-owned cable provider “Pošta Net“ has already removed the channels of United Media from its programme last December because they couldn’t agree on a contract renewal. As a result, many households couldn’t receive N1 anymore. Since Mid-January more viewers are affected, as the cable provider under the state „Telekom Serbia“ hasn’t prolonged their contracts either. A public exchange with accusations of political and economic interference between the players followed. Similar situations in the neighbouring countries can be observed. But let’s be clear from the get-go: The situation is more complicated than that and political reasons are not the only explanation for it.

Neues Mediengesetz in Albanien befeuert Angst vor Zensur

Gegen großen nationalen und internationalen Protest hat das albanische Parlament mit seiner sozialistischen Mehrheit ein umstrittenes Mediengesetz verabschiedet. Das Gesetzeswerk gibt Anlass zur Sorge vor Zensur und staatlicher Willkür. Es ist ein Rückschritt für Albanien auf dem Weg hin zu europäischen Standards.

Strong Majority in South East Europe: Public Service Media Are Important for Democracy

Results of KAS Media Programme’s survey on significance of public service media in ten countries of South East Europe

More than two-thirds of media user say that public service media are important for a democratic society. In the same time, almost 65 percent see the public broadcasters under political influence. These are the results of a current opinion poll in ten countries which are covered by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Sofia.

Samuel Morazan auf Pixabay

Independence of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) in danger?

The temporary suspension of a journalist, a five-hour stop and the question of who pulls the strings, where and why

It is the most serious crisis in the Bulgarian media landscape for a long time. For several days, the Bulgarian National Radio rules the headlines. The temporary transfer of a longtime presenter shows the political influence on the work of public service broadcasting in Bulgaria. The protest of colleagues and listeners, however, shows the awareness of being able to defend against it.

Birger Hoppe / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Public Service Media Under Crossfire by Protest Movements

Protesters in South East Europe criticise their governments and demand more independence of the public broadcasters

There is seething unrest in South East Europe and immediately it is called ”Balkan Spring.” Many people are protesting in the capitals of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Croatia out of dissatisfaction with their governments. This frustration is targeted towards the media in these countries as well – especially the public service media which are frequently considered a mouthpiece of the government. The protesters therefore call for resignation of the general directors of the broadcasters.

KAS MP SOE

Bulgaria: Trust in Media Is Still Low

Almost two thirds of Bulgarians are convinced that the media in their country are not reporting independently. Moreover, only every tenth describes journalists as trustworthy. The EU and Germany enjoy the highest institutional confidence. These are the main results of a national representative survey commissioned by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).

Every Second Macedonian Doesn’t Believe in Media Independence

There is only little trust in the work of media in Macedonia: Every second Macedonian believes that journalists in their country can’t report independently. Furthermore, only one third of the population feels well informed about political topics. Generally Macedonians are informing themselves about politics from the TV. There is relatively high trust in the EU and NATO. These are the main results of a national representative survey commissioned by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).

Only every tenth Bulgarian thinks the media are independent

REPRESENTATIVE OPINION POLL ABOUT MEDIA FREEDOM AND POLITICAL COMMUNICATION COMMISSIONED BY THE KAS MEDIA PROGRAM

The trust in Bulgarian media is at an all-time low. That is the result of a representative survey commissioned by the KAS Media Program South East Europe. Only one of ten Bulgarians (10 percent) believes that the media in Bulgaria are independent. The satisfaction with political communication is similarly low. Only 11 percent of the Bulgarians feel well informed about political decisions.

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About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.