Supporting independent journalism to strengthen free speech and democracy in Bulgaria

The team builds their capacity in independent journalism. Photo: team builds their capacity in independent journalism. Photo: decline of freedom of speech in Bulgaria is no surprise, with the country steadily receiving record low ratings within the EU from Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and other international watchdogs. The growing consolidation of media ownership by a handful of powerful businessmen with strong ties to the country’s security apparatus and political elites not only translates into worsening conditions for independent reporting, but a weaker civil society and democracy in general.’s executive board identified a lack of independent quality journalism as one of the primary shortcomings of democracy in Bulgaria. This is why over the past two years the network has partnered with Sofia University’s Faculty of Journalism and the UK-based Climate News Network and Guardian Foundation to build the skills and capacity of young independent journalists to investigate and cover issues of public interest in fields such as nature protection, failures of environmental law enforcement, human rights, women’s and gender rights, corruption, good governance and public participation, as well as facilitating journalists’ cooperation and engagement with civil society and social movements and the use of independent expertise and interactive IT tools.

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