THE TRANSITIONAL MEDIA SYSTEM OF
University of Missouri-Columbia
Running Head: Bulgaria's Transitional Media
Graduate Studies Center
116 Walter Williams Hall
School of Journalism
University of Missouri-Columbia
P.O. Box 838
Columbia, MO 65205
tel.: (314) 442-8965
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Paper submitted to the James W. Markham Award Student Competition
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
International Communication Division
April 1, 1996
Bulgaria's Transitional Media
This study reviews media developments in Bulgaria in the first five
years after the ousting of communism. An analysis of the existing press
typologies shows that none is appropriate for describing the rapid changes that
occurred in post-communist Bulgaria. The study proposes and defines a
descriptive transitional press concept in terms of the coexistence of
prescriptive press concepts. The media system of post-communist Bulgaria is
used as an example and a case to test the proposed transitional press concept.
The examination of the developments in three areas of Bulgarian
journalism: media management and economics, media, political parties and the
government, and media law and ethics, reveals a coexistence of five prescriptive
concepts: libertarian, authoritarian, communist, social responsibility, and
Bulgaria's Transitional Media
Purpose of the study: This study explores the development of the
Bulgarian media system in the first five years after the ousting of the
communist regime. The study is guided by three objectives. The first is to
evaluate the literature on press philosophies and media systems in terms of
their applicability to the post-communist media system of Bulgaria. The second
is to propose a concept that would appropriately describe the development of
Bulgarian media in the first five years after the fall of communist rule. The
third is to provide support for the proposed concept by analyzing the
transitional processes in key aspects of Bulgarian post-communist journalism,
such as media economics and management, journalists' attitudes toward the
government and political parties, and media law and ethics.
Research questions: The study, exploratory in nature, seeks to answer
two main questions. The first question is which press concept would most
accurately describe the Bulgarian media system in the first five-year period
after the fall of communism and during the transition of Bulgarian society to an
open market and a liberal democracy. The second question is how the
introduction of an open market and a pluralistic political system in
post-communist Bulgaria has affected the country's media system.
Method: Analyzing the development of the post-communist Bulgarian media
system over a course of five years, rather than providing a snapshot of it at
one point in time, requires an abundance of information collected over time.
Four complementary methods of data collection were employed:
1) Personal, in-depth interviews with Bulgarian journalists, media
managers and educators were conducted in 1994 and 1995. The first series of
interviews was conducted in March 1994 with a group of twelve Bulgarian print,
radio and television journalists, journalism educators, and journalism students
who were visiting the United States as fellows at the International Center for
Community Journalism and the Iowa State University Department of Journalism and
Mass Communication. The second series of interviews was conducted in Bulgaria
in June 1994 with editors, reporters, circulation and advertising managers, and
advertising agents from fifteen newspapers, and program directors, managers,
editors, anchors, reporters, and advertising agents from six private radio
stations. The third series of interviews was conducted with six senior-level
print journalists traveling in the United States on a grant from the Unites
States Agency for International Development in March 1995. The fourth series of
interviews was conducted the same month in Bulgaria with thirty-three print,
television and radio journalists, newspaper managers, news librarians,
journalism educators and researchers. In addition, seven other interviews used
for the study were conducted in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 with three
journalists, three journalism educators, and a researcher.
All interviewees were asked specific questions pertaining to the current
developments and problems in Bulgarian journalism. While this method does not
lead to generalizable results, it offers the opportunity to establish rapport
with the interviewees and to distill their personal experiences and insights.
2) Three surveys were conducted with convenience samples of Bulgarian
journalists, media managers, advertising directors, and educators who
participated in American-sponsored, journalism-related seminars in Bulgaria.
The first one took place in October 1994 with forty-two participants in a media
management seminar. Thirteen completed questionnaires were returned by mail--a
response rate of thirty-one percent, which is considered normal in social
science research today.
A group of forty-five journalists who participated in a seminar for
investigative reporters and editors in Bulgaria in May 1995 completed the second
survey. Sixteen questionnaires were filled and returned at the end of the
seminar--a response rate of thirty-six percent.
The third survey took place in July 1995 with forty-three media managers,
journalists and advertising directors who participated in three media management
seminars in Bulgaria. Questionnaires were filled and returned after each
seminar. A total of thirty-four surveys was filled and returned--a response
rate of seventy-nine percent. In summary, information from surveys with a total
of sixty-three Bulgarian journalists, media managers, advertising directors, and
educators was used for this study.
3) Thirdly, the content of the Bulgarian press was examined for a period
of five years--from 1990 to 1995. This was not a quantitative content analysis
but a survey of Bulgarian newspapers, ranging from influential
largest-circulation national dailies to regional weeklies and monthlies
published in some of the smallest towns. A systematic analysis could not be
done due to lack of regular access to a publication's issues, but this review of
a variety of newspapers makes possible some consideration of common
characteristics and differences among publications of different size and
4) Finally, the primary sources of information for this study included
the two publications of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, the weekly newspaper
Pogled (Look) and the magazine Bulgarski Zhurnalist (Bulgarian Journalist). Of
special interest were individual journalists' columns on media developments in
the country, published regularly in these two outlets.
The study first reviews the existing press concepts on which the typology
proposed here is built. It then proposes and defines a descriptive transitional
press concept in terms of the coexistence of prescriptive press concepts. The
media system of post-communist Bulgaria is used as an example and a case to test
the proposed transitional press concept.
An Update of Press Concepts
Current press typologies: None of the existing press concepts, developed
since the 1950s to provide a framework for understanding the world's press,
would alone describe today's post-communist press. Three criticisms emerge
from an evaluation of the existing press typologies: 1) They have mixed
prescriptive (or normative) concepts with descriptive (or reflective) concepts;
2) They have used mostly ideological criteria which has led to oversimplified
categorizations of the world's media systems; 3) They have ignored the element
of transition for all but the media systems of the traditionally called Third
The underlying idea of most press typologies is that the press reflects
the political system of a society. As a result, the main category for
systematization has been the different societies' political perspective on
government-press relations. This has brought a confusion between "the actual
working principles of a given media system; the theoretical ideals of the
system; and the dominant ideology of the society (capitalist, socialist,
revolutionary, developmental, or whatever )."
While this study does not dispute that a press system is related to the
political structure of a society, it starts with the assumption that the
categorization of media systems should also include economic criteria, that, in
fact, the underlying dimension of descriptive press concepts is economic. All
societies can be placed on a continuum between a planned economy and a free
market. In contrast, the underlying dimension of prescriptive press concepts
is philosophical. All societies can be placed on a continuum between
authoritarianism and libertarianism. Following this clarification, the study
proposes a typology that describes the world press by dividing it into three
classes: planned economy, transitional, and free market. Within any of these
press systems, a variety of prescriptive concepts may coexist.
In light of the 1989 changes in the former communist bloc, a
transitional, descriptive press concept is appropriate to describe the media
systems of today's East European countries. It would describe the press system
of the post-communist society that is undergoing a transition from a centralized
economy to an open market. In such a transitional system, several or even all
dominant prescriptive concepts may exist together, e.g., the newly introduced
libertarianism and the remaining heritage of authoritarianism may characterize
the press philosophy simultaneously.
Before outlining the proposed framework, however, a close look at the
typologies upon which it builds is required. The Cold War model of the dominant
Four Theories presented the world's press according to the ideologies of the
time: authoritarian, libertarian, Soviet Communist, and social responsibility.
These were ideologies, i.e. prescriptive concepts, not necessarily reflecting
the true nature of the 1950s societies and their press systems.
But the Four Theories also had the ambition of describing the press
systems of the world in its purpose to answer the question of why the press "is
as it is." The result was a model that simplified the characteristics of a
press system to elements of the societal ideology prescribing what the press
ought to be. Later scholars found such simplification inadequate. Jane Curry,
for example, observed that the press in communist countries was more than an
element of government organization, as it was defined by Wilbur Schramm's Soviet
Communist concept. Similarly, Ellen Mickiewicz noted, in a broader debate
among social scientists about the nature of communist systems, that the Soviet
press was "far more complex than the totalitarian theory." In addition, the
political framework of the Four Theories neglected the economics of the press.
It also ignored transition in press systems and was later criticized for its
inapplicability to the Third World press.
Four Theories was published before many former colonies became
independent countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Reflecting the
changing world, Ithiel De Sola Pool's classification categorized press systems
into a Western, Communist, and non-Communist developing model. Pool's
contribution to press typologies was the placement of this model in the
traditional-transitional-modern society continuum of Daniel Lerner.
Ralph Lowenstein was among the first to add an economic criterion to
press classifications. To the standard of government-press relations he
added the category of press sponsorship. Lowenstein's model distinguished
between various levels of economic development and different types of media
ownership. His argument for a constant transition of media philosophies,
depending on changes of ownership, media consumerism and technologies,
recognized the transitional stages of the press in all societies.
This transitional element was expanded in John Merrill's concepts. His
"Developmental Triangle" model emphasized the progression of normative concepts
in a press system, naturally flowing from one into another, e.g., from
authoritarian to libertarian and vice versa. Merrill further developed this
idea in his "Political-Press Circle" model, which, of all existing press
typologies, most convincingly presented the continuing evolution and transition
of the world' s societies and press.
The importance of Merrill's circle for this study is in the emphasis on
transitional societies, a current example of which is the evolving countries of
Eastern Europe. Merrill's media development continuum from conservatism to
liberalism is also an example of the philosophical continuum from
authoritarianism to libertarianism on which every society can be placed. Both
Merrill and Lowenstein modified the definitions of societies and press systems
as "authoritarian tending" or "libertarian tending," contributing to a more
realistic description of the current press systems of the world.
William Hachten noted the economic and corporate influences on
journalism, too. He also suggested that, in practice, media systems exist along
a continuum from authoritarianism to libertarianism, that they are complicated
and cannot be neatly classified. However, he still adhered to the Four
Theories' model of applying prescriptive theories to divide the world's press
into authoritarian, communist, developmental, revolutionary and Western
The model proposed here has benefited both from the work of scholars who
extensively considered the role of economics in media systems and those who
suggested that normative concepts can coexist in a single media system.
Robert Picard's revision of press concepts is particularly relevant to the
post-communist transition of the East European press from a planned to a market
A major premise of Anglo-American libertarianism has been that transition
from state market control to commercial market control ended the press
subservience to government and thus bolstered freedom. But economic
developments in the press during the twentieth century--especially since the
Second World War--have made it clear that the press can become subservient to
market forces that can also restrict freedom.
Picard's revision included a democratic socialist concept referring to the
Western libertarian systems with state ownership of broadcast media.
Implementing Merrill and Lowenstein's "authoritarian-tending" and
"libertarian-tending" definitions, Picard proposed three types of media systems:
libertarian-tending, that may be either libertarian or socially responsible or
democratic socialist ; duo-directional, that may be developmental or
revolutionary, and authoritarian-tending, that may be authoritarian or
Herbert Altschull used the economics of the media as the criterion for
describing the world press systems. Economics was the basis for his world press
typology of planned economy, market, and advancing systems. He further expanded
the idea of the economic dependence of the press in a capitalist society to a
concept of universal economic restrictions on the press. No matter what the
political system, press freedom is restricted by the press's dependence on
capital, he argued.
Indeed, economics is a more comprehensive criterion than that of social
and political control, while still including the nature of government-press
relations. As Altschull noted, media in the communist societies were controlled
through economic means, too. In the former communist countries the press was
politically restricted because it was economically dependent on the government.
Borrowing from Altschull's work, the main criterion used in this study
to describe the world press is economics. This criterion determines the
classification of the world's media into three systems of planned economy,
transitional, and free market. These are clearly descriptive concepts of the
press. Once media systems are described using an economics criterion, they can
the be further identified by determining what normative press concepts dominate
or coexist in them.
Coexisting prescriptive concepts: As early as 1969, Raymond Williams
distanced himself from media theorists' contrasting of "free" and "controlled"
press. His classification of press concepts into authoritarian, paternal,
commercial, and democratic, all found at the same time in the press system of
his native Britain, is an example of prescriptive concepts coexisting in one
press system. Altschull agreed that there is no pure system, that every
press has degrees of freedom and control. In Nicaragua of the 1980s, Bonnie
Brownlee found "a press chock full of vestiges of the authoritarian past and
present but sprinkled with tokens of libertarianism," and observed that "any
system is likely to contain elements of several of the theories."
A transitional press, such as those of Nicaragua in the 1980s or Bulgaria
in the 1990s, highlights the coexisting of elements of various prescriptive
concepts in one press system. Philosophic aspects characteristic of the old
systems coexist with new values in a press in transition. As with the
Sandinista government in the 1980s, the Bulgarian post-communist governments in
the early 1990s promised the people of Bulgaria that they would end corruption,
reconstruct the national economy, improve living conditions, and assure
pluralism in political life. Such changes should lead to a change in the
press system, too, as Brownlee suggested.
The transitional concept proposed here is closest to Picard's
duo-directional (wavering between authoritarianism and libertarianism) and
Altschull's advancing press systems. Picard's duo-directional system, however,
could be either developmental or revolutionary and Altschull's advancing system
was equivalent to Hachten's developmental system. It is necessary therefore to
examine if the developmental press concept would not overlap with the
transitional press concept.
Irrelevance of the developmental press concept to post-communist
Bulgaria: Since the post-communist countries are often referred to as
"developing" or "emerging" countries or even a "Third-World environment," it is
necessary to examine if the developmental press concept would fit the media
system of post-communist Bulgaria. The developmental press concept is a mixture
of prescription and description, while the transitional concept is proposed here
as a descriptive concept. The developmental concept has been viewed as a
transitional concept, however, bound to disappear when a country reaches a civil
There are a number of other similarities between the developmental and
the transitional press concepts. Similar to the developmental concept, created
to describe the post-colonial countries' press, the starting point of the
transitional concept is the irrelevance of previous press concepts to the
transitional societies of the post-communist countries. The post-Cold War
societies of Eastern Europe challenge established societal and press philosophy
in the same way the post-colonial states of the late 1950s and early 1960s did
when the developmental press concept was born.
Moreover, the Third World and the former communist bloc countries
experience similar processes of dramatic change from dictatorships to democracy.
As did the post-colonial countries of the late 1950s and the early 1960s,
Bulgaria of the 1990s belongs to societies that are restructuring
themselves. Post-communist Bulgaria has endured some of the problems
typical of the Third World transitional societies: a relative lack of
democratic experience, of direction, of confidence, of security, and constant
uncertainty leading to frustrations among its citizens and in society
In the same way that citizens of many Third World countries identified
colonialism as the sole cause for their troubles, many Bulgarians, at least
initially, in the post-communist period tended to blame communism for their
economic and social problems. Similar to the Third World countries' emphasis on
economic development, Bulgarians set as one of their highest priorities the
restructuring of their economy.
Most definitions of development emphasize economic advancement and
growth. Because of Bulgaria's focus on economic reform during the
post-communist period, these definitions of development are applicable to its
society. Broader variations of the definition--those including social and
cultural aspects--are also relevant to post-communist Bulgaria, for economic
problems cannot be isolated from the entirety of life in a transitional
For the purpose of this study, Bulgaria is classified as a middle-income
developing country with high literacy, school enrollment, and higher education
rates. The 1992 World Development Report placed Bulgaria's economy among
the "lower middle-income" ones, along with Algeria, Mauritius, Malaysia and
Argentina, due to its 1990 GNP per capita of U.S. $2,250. But it is not
the listed GNP per capita that determines Bulgaria's developing status. The
simple measure of GNP per capita was proven deceitful even in the early research
on communication and development. Presently, several high-income countries
with a GNP per capita of $7,620 or more, are also considered "developing" by
their governments or the United Nations.
It has become customary among social scientists to refer to various
categories of developing countries. The East European countries, in the process
of transition from a centralized to open-market economy, form one of these
categories. Bulgaria's developing status is determined by the rapid changes
going on in its post-communist society. These changes, mainly economic, are
inevitably accompanied by political, ideological, and psychological changes in
the mindset of its citizens.
In spite of Bulgaria's status of a developing country, the developmental
press concept is not relevant to the Bulgarian press system. The country
possesses all conditions necessary for a developed press system, such as
outlined by Denis McQuail: "communication infrastructure, professional skills,
production and cultural resources, available audience." Illiteracy has
been virtually eliminated. The country has ranked fifth in the world for the
ratio of university students to its population. In terms of communication
infrastructure, Bulgaria has long ago exceeded the UNESCO minimum requirements
of two cinema seats, ten copies of daily newspapers, and five radios for every
one hundred persons. In the early 1970s Bulgaria had eight cinema seats for
one hundred persons; in the late 1970s/early 1980s daily newspapers reached a
circulation of sixty-two per one hundred citizens; and in 1988 there were
twenty-two radio receivers per every one hundred inhabitants. In 1990, the
annual circulation of newspapers per capita was 122.2. Should the
infrastructure criteria be updated, in 1993 one and a half million Bulgarian
households (of a population of eight and a half million) had registered
television sets. The same year, in spite of outdated equipment, Bulgaria had
more than two million telephones and a mobile cellular system had been started
in 1992. In 1995, the major national and local dailies had regular Internet
access. Their newsrooms were also equipped adequately for practicing
intermediate levels of computer-assisted reporting.
As regards to professionalism, in 1994 Bulgaria celebrated 150 years of
the birth of its first periodical, a magazine called Ljuboslovie (Love for the
Word). The first congress of Bulgarian journalists met no later than 1894. The
country has had a professional association of journalists since 1905. Radio
broadcasting started in the 1920s; television broadcasting in the 1950s.
Journalism education has been a competitive and prestigious major in the
country's oldest university for five decades.
Production resources are also available. The Bulgarian capital, Sofia,
houses the biggest modern pre-production and printing plant in the Balkans.
Most national circulation newspapers and the large local newspapers have their
own computer pre-production facilities, using state-owned printing plants for
printing only. In addition, the largest newspaper companies have built
their private printing plants, which are also available for commercial
A factor for classifying developing countries, according to McQuail, is
the countries' awareness of their "similar identity and interests in
international politics." By contrast, some of the former communist
countries have not stressed the similarities in their identity or in their
political and economic interests. Instead, they have preferred to emphasize
their uniqueness. Post-communist nationalism has been perceived as a way to
break with the communist ideology and its myth of proletarian
Furthermore, while developing countries grew to oppose Western
assistance, post-communist Eastern Europe welcomed it, at least initially. In
1990, East European editors saw Robert Maxwell as bringing "manna from heaven"
to failing, formerly state subsidized newspapers. Like much of the rest of
Eastern Europe, post-communist Bulgaria looked to the West for direction and
cooperation. The first non-government radio frequencies after the fall of
communism were allocated to Western broadcasting companies and most Bulgarian
private radio stations had partnerships with them to cooperate with news and
music. The Western radio stations were seen as crucial contributors to the
establishment of private broadcasting in Bulgaria.
McQuail also noted the tendency of developing countries to place an
emphasis on collectivism rather than individualism. This is not characteristic
of post-communist Bulgaria. After 1989, Bulgarians increasingly took charge of
their lives, rediscovering individualistic values, such as personal freedom and
The developmental press concept, therefore, is not an accurate
description of the post-communist Bulgarian society and press system. In
addition, the prescriptive elements of the concept are not applicable to the
current Bulgarian context. According to Hachten, the main tasks of
developmental journalism are to help increase the literacy rate, to build
political consciousness, and to promote economic development. Neither
Bulgarian post-communist governments nor journalists suggested the press take on
The first two goals of developmental journalism are not relevant to
Bulgaria. As noted above, there is no need to increase the literacy rate.
There is also a high level of political consciousness. Political scientists
generally regard high voter turnout as an indication of high citizen involvement
and political consciousness. In the first five years after the fall of
communist rule, the average voter turnout for national elections in Bulgaria was
seventy-five percent. As could be expected, the first free elections of June
10, 1990 had a very high turnout of ninety-one percent. The October 13,
1991 parliamentary elections, which featured forty-two political parties, had a
turnout of eighty-four percent. The significant voter turnout continued in
the third parliamentary elections, held on December 18, 1994 with forty-nine
political parties and coalitions. That year in Burgas, the fourth largest
Bulgarian city, four out of every five eligible voters cast a ballot, despite a
predicted low voter turnout.
Further, although the third goal of developmental journalism, economic
reform, is relevant to post-communist Bulgaria with its efforts to develop a
free market, this never became a journalists' priority in the five years after
communism. Bulgarian journalism was neither officially designated to assist in
economic restructuring, like the developmental press, nor did it take this task
on itself, as development journalists did. In the new context of severe market
competition, the Bulgarian periodicals' priority was survival--by giving their
audience what it was perceived to want, rather than what it was believed to
need. Bulgarian journalists increasingly saw their job as a business, and
worked to provide the information the audience was willing to buy. Audience
surveys became common in Bulgaria, in addition to the strict monitoring of what
types of newspapers sold best in the street kiosks. Even when topics
covered in newspapers related to economics, the audience had had an indirect
input in editorial decisions.
Finally, while developmental journalism is seen, much like the
authoritarian press, as a propaganda tribune utilized by governments to steer a
country's development, the Bulgarian post-communist press began moving in the
opposite direction. Bulgarian journalists, painfully familiar with communist
government controls, defined as unhealthy journalists' subservience to the
state. As will be shown further, they increasingly criticized authorities
and resented government interference in their work.
Of the regions normally included in the Third World, the closest to the
transitional East European societies is Latin America, with its developed and
relatively independent press system, higher literacy rate, and increasing
democratization. Since the developmental concept has been applied to Latin
America in general, it is possible that the concept is relevant to an Eastern
European press system. But Latin American and East European press systems
differ in a critical aspect. Totalitarian regimes in Latin America never
interrupted the traditional commercial operation of the media, while Eastern
Europe did not have private ownership for nearly half a century. The communist
system produced generations of journalists with a limited sense for the
economics of the media. Despite the rapid privatization of newspapers in
Eastern Europe, the lack of experience in financing, marketing, and advertising
remained a great obstacle.
To sum up, the developmental press concept does not accurately describe
the post-communist media system of Bulgaria, in spite of certain similarities
between it and the "developing" countries.
The transitional press concept: A transitional press concept is most
relevant to describe the current stage of the Bulgarian post-communist press.
Transition has become a popular term to define the processes experienced by the
East European societies after 1989. It is also a vague term. "Transition to
what, by what institutional means, with what societal ends, in what endogenous
and/or exogenous circumstances?" asked a Bulgarian media sociologist. For
this study, the definition of transition is limited to mean economic transition
from a state-owned and controlled planned economy to a free market and vice
versa. The definition recognizes that such transition is inevitably accompanied
by other rapid changes in society and in the mindset of its citizens.
In spite of the initial euphoria surrounding the changes in Eastern
Europe, transition is understood to be neutral; it does not imply positive or
negative meaning, progressive or regressive direction. Thus, a transitional
society is not only Bulgaria in the post-communist change from planned to market
economy, but also Bulgaria in the pre-communism interim between market and
planned economy of the late 1940s. The Bulgarian society was then in a
different but still transitional stage.
It is also necessary to distinguish between this study's definition of
transitional society and the established more specific definition reflecting a
society in the process of modernization, especially the Third World. In the
post-Cold War political and economic context, Third World countries were no
longer the only transitional societies. Other regions, including Eastern
Europe, experienced transition, too, but not in the sense of modernization,
which they had already achieved as noted above in regards to media
In line with the above definition of transition, a transitional press
system is defined here as the press system of a society that is in transition
from one economic order to another. Due to the state of its society, a
transitional press system is both authoritarian- and libertarian-tending, like
Picard's duo-directional system. But unlike Picard's duo-directional system
which could be either revolutionary or developmental, the transitional system
can host several prescriptive press concepts, that is, the developmental,
authoritarian, communist, libertarian, revolutionary, and social responsibility
normative concepts can all be present in a transitional media system.
McQuail noted that in a developmental press system media operations could
follow the principles of different press concepts--authoritarian, libertarian,
social responsibility, or Soviet--because a developmental press system is a
press system in transition. In the post-communist Bulgarian press system,
the new currents of the commercial (Western, libertarian) concept found their
place between the remains of the communist and authoritarian ideologies, the
journalists' sense of professional responsibility (social responsibility), and
the European model of state-owned broadcasting (democratic socialist). In the
first five years after the ousting of communism this mixture marked the key
aspects of the Bulgarian press system, including media economics and management;
relationships among the media, political parties and the government; and media
law and ethics. The transitional processes in these areas will be analyzed in
the next chapter.
The mixture previously puzzled researchers. Brownlee faced such a puzzle
when trying to identify the Nicaraguan press of the 1980s. The revolutionary,
developmental, and social responsibility concepts all seemed to fit the
Nicaraguan press context. The descriptive concept of a transitional press
system is a solution to the puzzle. This concept reflects the evolving nature
of societal and press systems. It has been suggested that a transitional
concept of a media system is not appropriate because it only suggests that the
system is in a state of change. However, the purpose of press typologies
does not go further than sorting out the world's media systems to help
understand them. They cannot have predictive power and accordingly change as
the world media systems change.
The coexistence of elements from different prescriptive concepts is basic
to the media system typology proposed here. Thus, a researcher analyzing the
Nicaraguan press of the 1980s could identify it as follows: descriptive
concept--transitional/prescriptive concepts coexisting in the press
system--revolutionary, authoritarian and socially responsible. It has been
argued that a developmental concept actually means either the dominance of the
authoritarian concept or the dominance of the social responsibility concept,
depending on the functions that a developing country's journalism takes on and
whether it operates within or outside government controls. Following this
argument, Brownlee's conclusion that the Nicaraguan press of the 1980s included
elements of the developmental, the revolutionary and the social responsibility
concepts can be summarized in this model: transitional press
system/authoritarian, revolutionary, and socially responsible prescriptive
concepts. Figure 1a presents this model.
A more current example is the Bulgarian post-communist press system,
which can also be described as transitional, including a mixture of prescriptive
concepts. This model accounts for the plurality of press philosophies that
could be found in a post-communist media system in the first five years after
the fall of the regime. In the case of Bulgaria between 1990 and 1995, a
variety of normative press concepts could be observed: political parties and
governments shared the communist and the authoritarian press philosophies, as
well as the democratic socialist concept of state-owned broadcasting; individual
journalists differed in their degree of acceptance of the communist, the
libertarian, the social responsibility, and the democratic socialist concepts.
Figure 1b shows this model of the Bulgarian post-communist press system.
In addition, the democratic-participant concept has been discussed as the
ideal normative concept for East European media. The democratic-participant
concept, as McQuail described it, was an attempt in developed liberal media
systems to react against the commercialization of private media and the
centralization of state broadcasting. Unlike the social responsibility concept
or the democratic socialist concept, the democratic-participant concept
envisioned a grass-roots, small-scale, local-level role of the media in
interacting with the public and meeting its needs. The model of coexisting
prescriptive concepts proposed here for describing a transitional press system
can also be used to describe the press systems of societies with stable
economies, either planned or open market. For example, a West European press
system could be described as: open market/mixture of libertarian, social
responsibility, democratic socialist, and democratic-participant prescriptive
concepts. Figure 1c shows this model.
Insert Figures 1a, b, c about here
These models solve the problem of mixing descriptive and prescriptive
concepts. They use an economic criterion to identify types of press systems and
then list the dominant prescriptive concepts that guide the practice of their
media. This study is limited to testing the transitional model of the Bulgarian
post-communist media system. Further research needs to test the usefulness of
the other proposed models.
The transition in Bulgaria's Post-Communist Media
This section of the study tests the proposed transitional concept by
analyzing the post-communist developments in key aspects of the Bulgarian media
system: media economics and management; relationships among the media,
political parties, and the government; and, media law and ethics.
Media economics and management: In the five years after the fall of
communism, the most obvious example of the transition in the Bulgarian media
system was the privatization of the media. If a true free market emerged in
post-communist Bulgaria, it was the media market where competition was most
intense. New publications appeared on the stands every day but some were
gone in just a few months. The growth of newspapers followed a pattern
previously unseen in Bulgaria. In 1989, only two months after the ousting of
the communist regime, two newspapers were born. In 1990, the number of new
newspapers was 108. In the succeeding three years the number founded was 201 in
1991, 451 in 1992, and 322 in 1993. In one year alone (1993), there were
2,664 news publications offering subscriptions to the Bulgarian population of
eight and a half million. No license was required for publishing, but all
publications had to register in court, like any other business.
Insert Figure 2 about here
In broadcasting, the introduction of cable television and private radio
stations created an intense competition as well. In 1991 the state monopoly
over broadcasting was eliminated and in 1992 an Interim Committee for Radio
Frequencies and TV Channels was authorized to register private channels. In the
next two years, the Committee gave licenses to seventy-six broadcast radio
stations, forty-four wire radio stations, thirty-five television stations, and
134 cable stations. The number of channels that could be registered per
person was unrestricted at the time, which quickly resulted in chains of local
radio stations throughout Bulgaria. Even Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and
Bulgarian National Television (BNT) were affected by the economic reform. They
had to compete with all other media for the same audience and the same, still
scarce, advertising resources. For many of the media, each day became a trial
The change from a state-planned economy to a decentralized media system
was most painfully experienced by newspapers. They had to fight government
allocation of newsprint, state monopoly over printing services and control of
their prices, as well as centralized distribution. The first year and a half
after communism was marked by constant concern among newspaper managers about
the availability of newsprint, which determined publications' circulation and
subscriptions. Moreover, the lack of newsprint could put the existence of
publications at stake. Journalists actively opposed the government's monopoly,
going on strike while holding slogans written on their last newsprint. In
April 1991 the government stopped its allocation of newsprint and the regulation
of prices. This was the beginning of a market economy in post-communist
The desired change, however, meant experienced media leaders, with no
knowledge of the economics of their operation, were left face to face with the
market. "I'm helpless in finances. Everything was so easy before. I would get
a letter once a year saying: 'This is your circulation for the next year, this
is your salary,'" said Evgenii Stanchev in 1994, then editor-in-chief of
Pogled. Stanchev's experience was typical. He and his colleagues had to
teach themselves the entirely new and foreign concept of the newspaper as a
business. For individual journalists, this was as much a change in economics as
it was in their psychology and philosophy.
The hardships of government control were immediately replaced by harsh
market conditions. In a matter of days, Bulgarian newspapers had to pay between
300 and 1000 percent more for newsprint. Other economic challenges piled
up: the price reform affected the prices of printing and the Bulgarian
Telegraph Agency (BTA) raised its subscription rates. The immediate reaction to
the new prices was for newspapers to raise their cover prices.
There was no simple solution. Some newspapers went bankrupt, due to the
economic pressures and their managers' lack of market experience. Others had to
drastically decrease their volume, circulation and periodicity. Long-term
subscription became impossible to offer due to rising inflation. At this
time, many Bulgarian newspaper managers showed remarkable adaptability and
ingenuity. Anything that could sell the newspaper was tried: from front page
imitations of British tabloids to bingo and lottery games to free classified ads
or free city transit tickets. Journalists were encouraged to bring advertising
for a commission; editors-in-chief used their personal contacts with state
companies and new businesses to solicit advertising. Newspapers started to
experiment with side publications, e.g., Pogled's digests of the Bulgarian
press, of the Soviet press, and of cross-word puzzles. This trend remained,
leading to the establishment of newspaper chains, such as the press group 168
Chasa (168 Hours), the publishing chain Erkjul, and the Media Holding Company.
In the process, however, technical problems with printing and
distribution continued. The printing complex Rodina (Homeland), though the
biggest in the Balkans, became overloaded with the number of newspapers it had
to print. As a monopoly, it set the printing schedules and even the
circulations of its clients, in addition to setting prices. This new monopoly
prompted newspaper managers to purchase new technology that would allow them to
do their own, as well as commercial, pre-printing. When inflation was more than
one hundred percent, buying at today's prices became an investment for tomorrow.
The tremendous growth in newspapers overloaded the distribution system.
During communism, newspapers were distributed to subscribers by the state postal
service and sold in its kiosks. This system was not suitable to meet the needs
of the new publications. First, the centralized distribution system was not
viewed as appropriate in the otherwise already established newspaper free
market. Second, it was not trusted by all newspapers because of its
vulnerability to government control. As early as the first election campaign in
1990, opposition parties accused the postal service of not distributing their
newspapers across the country. Third, groups of Bulgarian entrepreneurs were
ready to start private distribution businesses. These promised to be more
credible and effective, as they had the incentive of getting a commission from
the number of newspapers sold.
Some of the most entrepreneurial newspaper groups, such as Erkjul, 168
Chasa, and the Media Holding Company created their own distribution
networks. By 1995, the largest national and regional newspapers owned
kiosks and trucks across the country (or the region of circulation). Several
newspaper companies even signed agreements to handle each other's distribution
and subscriptions in order to save on commission other distributors took.
For the smaller and especially local newspapers, however, distribution
remained a problem. First, private distributors were not willing to take
smaller publications, unsure whether they would be able to make a profit with
them. Second, it was not uncommon for a wealthy competitor to bribe a
distributor not to sell another newspaper, although that newspaper had its own
contract with the distributor. Third, smaller publications were more
vulnerable to organized crime whose involvement was rumored in newspaper
Many journalists adapted smoothly to their new roles as managers. As a
rule, however, the managers of the most successful publications, including those
who had been journalists before, focused only on management and business
operations. Those who continued their editorial or writing work could not
manage both. Thus, a new distinction between the business management of the
newspaper and its editorial guidance was established.
In broadcasting, a similar, though less dramatic, transition occurred.
Even the state media experienced it. After 1989, the state provided eighteen
percent of the budget for national television. The rest had to come from
advertisers, producers, and sponsors. Private broadcasting came to life
almost three years after the ousting of the communist regime when many of the
new economic challenges were already evident. Visits to private local stations
throughout Bulgaria in 1994 and 1995 showed that they had separate departments
of advertising, circulation and marketing, used self-promotion kits, and
regularly polled the audience about the stations' programming. Cross-promotions
of media, e.g., of local newspapers on radio or of local radio stations in
newspapers, were common. Twelve local radio stations were members of the First
Radio Advertising National Chain (FRANC), exchanging ads and media plans, thus
attracting national advertisers.
By 1995, advertising had become a critical part of media operations,
though it did not fully serve consumers because ads did not popularize sales.
Banks, insurance companies, car dealers, and electronics businesses were the
main advertisers; ads were mostly boxed announcements of their services and
addresses. The total revenue from advertising in Bulgarian media in 1994
was thirty-five million dollars, but most advertisers were Western firms.
Advertising was especially popular in the business-oriented publications, e.g.,
those of the 168 Chasa press group, which attracted forty percent of the total
advertising in all major newspapers and magazines. Another big share of
advertising was in the largest-circulation national newspapers, including Duma
(Word), Standart (Standard), Kontinent, (Continent), and Dneven Trud (Daily
Labor). The amount of advertising on national television and radio
gradually increased in the early 1990s and revenues from it in were stable in
1994 and 1995.
For local media, however, advertising remained a challenge even five
years after the ousting of the communist regime. The intense media competition
in smaller towns, combined with the old consumer culture of a planned economy,
made provincial media's business more difficult. The number of stable
enterprises outside the capital was smaller and these were more interested in
export, not seeing a need to advertise in local media. Smaller businesses, on
the other hand, could not afford to pay for advertising. In addition, business
people outside the capital remained socially conservative, reluctant to pay for
something whose benefit they did not recognize. Similarly, the consumers,
accustomed to life in an economy of deficiencies, still believed that quality
goods do not need advertising. For these consumers advertising could be
counter-productive. The introduction of advertising was further complicated by
the illegitimate status of some businesses that avoided media attention.
Because of their efforts to educate provincial audiences and businesses
about what advertising could do for them, local media's advertising agents
called themselves "apostles, teachers, and enlighteners of advertising."
Like newspaper managers in their daily struggle to attract readers, advertising
agents invented various games and lotteries as means to sell ads. As a
result, even for local newspapers, the revenue from advertising was twice that
from street sales and subscriptions, covering salaries and production
expenses. Local broadcasting and cable stations depended mostly on
To sum up, the Bulgarian post-communist media adjusted relatively quickly
to the new conditions of a market economy introduced in the country in 1991.
Both print and broadcast media began to rely on strategies necessary to survive
in a competitive market. There were still obstacles to these strategies, rooted
in the unstable Bulgarian economy and the limited number of local producers who
could pay for advertising. But this is not surprising for a transitional
economic system in which the local structures are still not established and are
unable to support the media. What is more important is the deep change in
philosophy that occurred within the successful Bulgarian media. Their managers
recognized the market necessities and learned to control them. By 1995, the
philosophy preached by successful Bulgarian media was the libertarian press
Media and political parties, government: The most remarkable example of
transition in the Bulgarian post-communist media system is the change in
journalists' attitudes toward the government and politicians. This transition
had two stages: from tribunes of the Communist party--to tribunes of a
diversity of political parties--to ideologically independent information agents.
In the first stage the communist press concept was still the most-widely
endorsed, while in the second stage the libertarian concept predominated.
Until November 10, 1989, the day communist dictator Todor Zhivkov was
overthrown and the day recognized as the fall of communism in Bulgaria, the
media system served as a tribune of the communist party. As in any communist
country, the mission of the media was to popularize party policy and to mobilize
citizens in following it. A special Mass Media Department of Politburo of the
Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) sought to insure that
Lenin's theory of the media as a collective agitator, propagandist and organizer
was implemented in practice. There was no official pre-censorship but many
journalists cultivated self-censorship in order to avoid the punishment of the
system for any technical or ideological violation that could be labeled as
"political error." Some journalists had also mastered writing with meaning
concealed between the lines. Perhaps partly because of their skills, no strong
underground press existed in Bulgaria during communism.
It did not take long after the fall of communism, however, for the
feeling of liberation to take over the entire media system. This feeling was
indicated in the responses to a survey of 102 Bulgarian journalists only three
months after communist rule was overthrown. The survey found that the majority
of those polled believed:
--the press in Bulgaria had liberated itself from the taboos of the
--pluralism in the media was a fact, and widely approved;
--government control of the media was unanimously rejected.
One response summarized the change: "The Berlin Wall in the mass media
has been destroyed." Similarly, a survey of 107 Bulgarians found that
freedom of expression was considered the most important accomplishment on the
fourth anniversary of the regime's ousting.
Insert Figure 3 about here
Within months of Zhivkov's overthrow journalists had disassociated
themselves with the past regime. One of the first newspapers to do so was the
organ of the BCP Rabotnichesko Delo (Workers' Cause). Stigmatizing
totalitarianism was a way for journalists to break with the image of BCP heralds
that had been cultivated for the forty-five years of communism. Another way of
breaking with the past was giving coverage and unlimited access, space, and time
to members of the newly-formed coalition of thirteen anti-communist parties and
movements, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF). The first roundtable
discussions between the UDF and the still-communist government were broadcast
live on national radio. But the image of the entire media system as a BCP
tribune was truly changed only when an opposition press was established in
Bulgaria in the spring of 1990.
Still, the development of the relations between political parties and the
press immediately after the fall of communism reflected both the communist past
and the history of the Bulgarian press. The tradition of the communist
regime--that a party must have a tribune and that a mass medium furthers the
cause of a party--was very strong. In addition, it had followed the European
pattern of polarized press and a history of passionate partisanship that
characterized the Bulgarian press from the beginning of the century to the
establishing of communism.
In the first two years after communism, years filled with political
tension, most of the new publications, such as Demokratsiya [Democracy],
Svoboden Narod [Free People], Narodno Zemedelsko Zname [People's Agricultural
Banner], Podkrepa [Support], were party organs. These were publications
of the opposition UDF which had their ideological opponents in Duma, Otechestven
Vestnik (Fatherland Newspaper), Zemedelsko Zname (Agricultural Banner), and Trud
(Labor) in the camp of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) that had replaced the
BCP. Clearly, newspapers in the early transition period were highly political
copies of the old one-party newspaper system. Like the communist party organs
that served the communist definition of truth, the new party newspapers promoted
their parties' truth as the whole and the sole truth. Ideological duels
among party leaders and journalists permeated the opponent newspapers in that
stage of the post-communist period.
Journalists quickly became disenchanted with serving the political
parties' agenda again. As early as 1990, Dimitar Kostov of Duma compared
journalists to "participants in a dirty political fair." The propaganda
style of the newspapers--old and new--especially irritated journalists striving
for change. Both the newspapers of the BSP and the UDF were criticized for
their lack of reliable information. One journalist's lament was not
What spiritual freedom can we talk about when a number of newspapers are
written exactly in the same Bolshevik way as before? What difference does the
political idea make when it is promoted to us in the same clumsy, brutal,
venomous and primitively admonishing style from the communist era?
This disenchantment might have been accelerated when journalists faced the
demands of their party-publishers. In 1990, Ivan Danov, then editor-in-chief of
Ekopolitika (Eco-politics), the weekly of the Green Party, admitted that he was
ordered by the party-publisher to "write now what the National Council of the
Party thinks." Several newspapers, among them Ekopolitika, Vesti, (News),
and Narodna Mladezh (People's Youth) were closed and the editors-in-chief of
others, including Svoboden Narod, Zemedelsko Zname, Podkrepa, and Demokratsiya,
were fired or forced to resign for allegedly failing to satisfy their
party-publishers' demands. Bulgarian journalists who had been given orders
in the past regime resented the same manipulative style used by the new parties.
There was another reason besides the uncomfortable feeling of serving
another master that replaced the initial euphoria of liberation. The opposition
newspapers, which had been started with great enthusiasm in journalists'
apartments, on their personal typewriters, and without anyone's financial help,
were expected to give their profit to the parties. Svoboden Narod,
Ekopolitika, Demokratsiya, and Duma were not only financially self-supporting
but profitable, and they gave money to their publishers, the parties. The
editor of Ekopolitika was even asked to pay the party's share before he had paid
his staff. Ofelia Hadjikoleva, former editor of Svoboden Narod, complained
that journalists were "forced to yield the newspapers, created by them, to
their owners, the politicians." The financial demands of the parties could
have contributed to the journalists' weariness of the parties and to the desire
for editorial and financial independence.
Journalists became further disappointed with politicians from the once
enthusiastically-supported UDF. Once the UDF was elected and formed a
government in October 1991, journalists saw that it was repeating the
authoritarian media policy of its predecessors. If the communist governments
understood journalism solely as a communist ideological tool, the UDF government
recognized as journalists only those who served the UDF. It even used the
communist vocabulary in regards to the media. A member of the Parliament said
on national television that information needed to be "appropriately
prescribed." A minister in the UDF cabinet called the Bulgarian National
Radio--during a program celebrating the international day of press freedom--to
recommend that it air only "serious opinions." Journalists found the
situation analogous to the communist supervision they had experienced before.
The UDF government was especially challenging for Bulgarian journalists.
In the period after 1989 they had quickly become critical of the communist
government, investigating its members' corruption and making it public. In
1990, television coverage of a mass anti-communist meeting, showing President
Peter Mladenov say that tanks were needed, helped oust him from office.
But the governments between 1989 and the end of 1991 were formed by the BSP, the
heir of the denounced communist party.
With the UDF, the first anti-communist coalition in power, journalists
were forced to rethink their role in society. They had once again to define
their loyalty: this time to "the fragile democracy or to truth?" Every
media criticism of the UDF government could be interpreted by the audience as an
attempt to stop the democratic process in the country and to restore the
communist order. The UDF government itself dismissed criticism to its
policies as a manifestation of communism and a sabotage to democracy.
Developmental journalism was clearly not a philosophy shared by Bulgarian
journalists. To the question of whether journalism should support the
government, Ivo Indjev, then director of the BTA, replied that in no case should
journalism play such a role. Journalists did not allow the restoration of
self-censorship or a decline in media openness in the name of "the fragile
democracy." The government's slogans that the media support democracy by
unquestionably backing the government only reinforced journalists' critical
voices. Journalists took the role of scrutinizing the powerful, no matter what
party or cause they claimed to represent. As a result, the only UDF
newspaper that faithfully supported the UDF during its government term was
Demokratsiya, which was given the status of an official government
publication. Other UDF newspapers were known to provide unbiased
The same discrepancy between the journalists' mindset and the
government's and politicians' way of thinking could be observed in broadcasting.
National broadcast media were especially vulnerable to government control since
they remained a state monopoly for at least five years after the communist
regime's overthrow. Immediately after November 10, 1989, Bulgarian journalists
in BNT and BNR faced the challenge to take a political position, choosing
between the two main political forces, the BSP and the UDF. Both the
politicians and the audience expected them to do so. As a result, in the first
months after communism, newscast information was often mixed with journalists'
own political opinions. There appeared to be a constant presence on the air of
two political extremes, the left and the right, playing a kind of "division of
territories." Journalists, politicians, and the audience usually knew which
program served which party.
On the other hand, the political tension in these first months after
totalitarianism was so high that simple stating of facts on the air was
perceived as a political act. Bulgarian journalists found it hard to maintain a
neutral position. It was common to receive phone calls both from the
socialists and the UDF, accusing journalists of favoring their opponent
party--for the same coverage. BNT and BNR journalists, much like their
colleagues in the press, experienced the old mentality of politicians
threatening them with punishment for violating their interests.
Early patterns of coverage in BNR showed that some journalists could not
ignore the interests of the powerful. A discussion about direct and indirect
control over broadcast media arose in May '91 after a visit by the sister of the
dethroned Bulgarian King Simeon II. While the visit was widely covered by
newspapers (the former princess even visited Sofia newsrooms), no reference to
her presence in the country was made on national radio. Alexander Vladkov, then
BNR director, prohibited any coverage of the visit, following the Bulgarian
President's expression of concern about restoration of monarchy in the
Regardless of their political convictions, however, broadcast journalists
quickly demonstrated their preference for journalistic independence. They
unanimously rejected a resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Radio and
Television Committee on July 18, 1991. Formally, the resolution guaranteed
freedom of speech. Its Act 4, however, demanded that a working committee audit
tapes of the BNR's most-listened to program, Horizont (Horison), and evaluate
the anchors' performances. Journalists openly criticized the resolution,
defining it as an overt attempt at censorship with the intention of protecting
state institutions from criticism on national radio. Some journalists also
interpreted the resolution as a government attempt to divide the journalistic
community according to their employer: state-employed vs. privately-employed
journalists, with state-employed journalists required to serve the state.
Broadcast journalists, however, did not see their job as different from
that of their colleagues in the privately-owned press. On BNR, the UDF
government was critically scrutinized in a commentary show Postfactum, which
contributed to the new image of Bulgarian broadcast media as independent from
government. On BNT, Svetoslava Staeva, then a reporter for a political
affairs program Panorama, was no exception and she symbolized television
journalists' aggressive approach to politicians. She was threatened with a law
suit by every politician-- from any side of the political spectrum--whom she had
interviewed after November 10, 1989. Still, she asserted:
Politicians do not have an objective evaluation of our work. They can
only evaluate us from the stance of how favorably they are presented in our
coverage. For all of us, journalists, there is only one rule: We should
always be in opposition to politicians.
In March 1993, BNR's program Horizont went so far as to introduce a talk
show called "Forbidden for Politicians," the rules of which included not
inviting, listening to, or even mentioning politicians. Other talk shows with
the same format followed. Similarly, many private radio stations started
to depend on a formula of "no politics and popular music." This does not
mean that political events were not announced in newscasts but journalists tried
to maintain a neutral tone.
Both in broadcasting and in the press then, journalists experienced a
transition in their attitudes toward the government and political parties. As
early as 1990, Ofelia Hadjikoleva said: "I do understand that the time of the
party newspaper has passed." "The party newspapers will die. We say to
our colleagues working in these publications 'Start behaving like journalists.
Don't be a slave to the politicians,'" said Petyo Bluskov, president of the 168
Chasa press group in 1991. "Parties may silence the partisan press. Our
concern, however, is not what politicians want us to write but what readers want
to read," Krum Blagov, owner of the independent weekly Reporter 7, wrote in
To sum up, immediately after 1989, Bulgarian journalists could not take
advantage of their new freedom. They began serving the propaganda goals of the
newly-born parties in the same way they had been expected to serve the communist
party in the times of totalitarianism. This time, however, journalists
voluntarily submitted themselves to the politicians in the name of the
long-awaited democracy. This was the first stage of a transition--breaking with
the old mission of being a communist tribune and supporting, both ideologically
and financially, the numerous political parties of post-communism.
Within two years however, the initial euphoria of promoting parties was
over for journalists, replaced by a sober realization they had been manipulated
again. The second stage of the transition in media attitudes toward the
government and politicians was the decision of most Bulgarian newspapers and
broadcasting stations to shape themselves as independent information and
Five years after the ousting of the communist regime, Bulgarian
journalists saw their future in total independence from parties, believing that
unbiased political information or no political information was to their
advantage. This does not mean that political interests did not stand behind
some of the hundreds of publications. However, such dependence became mostly
financial. It still could, on occasion, lead to overtly controlled political
coverage or to questionable credibility. But there was a significant difference
between an economic dependence with its implications and the open,
party-propagating press of the early 1990s that led journalists to be accused of
making politics and forgetting journalism.
It is evident, however, that the pro-democracy transition occurred mainly
on the part of the journalists. In the five years since the fall of communism,
Bulgaria had six governments (plus a caretaker one) and with them, six different
directors of the BNT and several different directors of the BNR and the BTA.
Every government sought to appoint directors who would propagate its policies
and protect its interests. In turn, all new directors made personnel
changes in accordance with their party's line, firing executives and journalists
perceived to support the opponent party.
Other developments demonstrated that the post-communist governments were
equally authoritarian in their attempts to manipulate the media. First, it was
not until a year and a half after the fall of communism that the government gave
up its regulation of prices and distribution of newspaper or printing.
Second, the Parliamentary Committee on Radio and Television, founded during a
BSP government term, remained during a UDF, two independent, one caretaker, and
another BSP government. It even added the BTA to the media under its control in
1994. (Journalists resisted the Committee's existence as anti-democratic,
no matter what party its members represented.) Third, despite the
proliferation of private local radio and cable television stations, no private
national radio and television stations were licensed in the five years after the
fall of communism.
Because of the discrepancy between Bulgarian journalists' view of their
relationship with politicians and the politicians' own philosophy, it is
necessary to distinguish between journalists working in the state-owned radio,
television, and telegraph agency, and their government-appointed directors.
Most of the directors were viewed merely as an extension of the government.
Their actions were not representative of Bulgarian journalists' attitudes toward
the government and politicians but rather of what the government required of
Clearly, the five years after communism showed a coexistence of four
press philosophies in the relationships among media, political parties, and the
government. In the early period after 1989, most journalists continued to work
under the norms of the communist press concept, serving as propagandists,
agitators and organizers for the causes of their parties. In the second stage
of transition, this press concept was shared only by the minority of journalists
who continued to work in party publications and to see their roles as
ideological agents. In both stages, the political parties' philosophy of media
resembled the communist view of using media as their mouthpieces. Similarly, in
both stages, the government and the few journalists supporting them shared the
authoritarian press philosophy.
By 1995, however, most Bulgarian journalists endorsed the libertarian
philosophy in their attitudes toward government and politicians. After seeing
the rise and fall of so many governments, and after opposing the equally
manipulative efforts of politically opposing platforms, journalists declared
faithfulness to their audience alone. For it, they adopted the motto: "Parties
and politicians come and go but you cannot afford to lose your journalistic face
by showing bias to any of them."
Finally, the protection of state-owned national broadcasting in the five
years after communism also indicates the presence, at least to some degree, of
the democratic socialist concept in the Bulgarian transitional media system. In
1992, John Edgar Reid, Jr. examined the Bulgarian state television as a case
study of Picard's democratic socialist concept, where the state medium fulfills
the needs of the audience and ensures the public good in a democratic
society. Support for the democratic socialist concept in Bulgaria was
shown by both the government, which consistently maintained state broadcasting
even on a limited budget, and journalists, who, while encouraging private
broadcasting, saw benefits in the professional standards of BNR and BNT's
journalism. In addition, despite their will for independence, newspaper
managers and journalists called for certain types of selected state subsidies,
including exemption of the value-added tax and elimination of rent for newspaper
Media Law and Ethics: The post-communist developments in Bulgarian
journalists' ethical concerns, in the current media legislation, and in
journalists' attitudes towards it also show the transitional state of the media
system. A significant change occurred among journalists who came to resist
legal provisions for responsibility in the media and to favor a
journalists-initiated code of ethics.
The ethics of journalism in Bulgaria during communism represented the
constant discrepancy between official propaganda and personal conscience that
marked the entire life in the communist state. Media laws were included in the
1971 communist constitution which explicitly stated the domination of the Party
over all social and state institutions, including the press, and in various
policies endorsed at party congresses that delegated the press with the
responsibility of being the party tribune. Bulgarian journalists at the
time did not have a Code of Professional Ethics. But part of their guidelines
were included in the Statute of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists whose first
article accepted the guidance of the communist party. In the textbook on
journalistic ethics used in the Department of Journalism in Sofia University
until 1989, the professional morality of journalists was framed in the
Despite this ideological structure, there was also a great deal of
idealism and faith in journalism's mission to serve the people in the forty-five
years of communism in Bulgaria. The main functions and principles of
journalism, outlined by Lenin, included not only loyalty to the Party but also
service to the people. Bulgarian journalists translated this commitment to the
people into an idealistic version of press responsibility, equivalent to the
social responsibility press concept. Journalism was a prestigious profession,
attracting many ambitious young Bulgarians.
The audience also treated journalists as agents of social justice. Many
letters to newspapers, radio and television were requests for help in solving
personal problems, from inadequate housing to unjust treatment by authorities.
With their mere presence in a region and intention to dig into a problem brought
by audience members, journalists from national media could put a pressure on
local authorities. Some journalists were able to disclose corruption of
authorities. As a result, these journalists were fired, moved to smaller and
unpopular publications, forced to resign or to retire early. But their work
showed a strong belief in the responsibility of journalism to serve truth and
Immediately after the ousting of the communist regime, the press
experienced a state of no regulation--neither legal nor moral. The several
variations of broadcast laws that were considered in Parliament were not adopted
due to the extreme polarization of the Bulgarian society and the Bulgarian
Parliament. The only provisions regulating journalism remained in the 1991
This first post-communist constitution itself exemplified the
transitional mixture of media-related philosophies in the Bulgarian society. On
the one hand, Articles 40 (1) and 41 (1) and (2) of the Constitution guaranteed
freedom of the mass media and the right to seek information. On the other hand,
Article 32 directly contradicted them, providing that: "no one shall be
followed, photographed, filmed, recorded or subjected to any other similar
activity without his knowledge or despite his express disapproval...." It
seemed to be a privacy statute. It was logical that the first post-communist
constitution would specifically prohibit spying on citizens, so characteristic
of the past regime. However, this imposed potential restrictions on the freedom
of information-gathering by the media, since there was no specific provision
that they would be excluded from observing the article.
Similarly, the existence of the Parliamentary Committee on Television,
Radio and the BTA contradicted the guarantees of mass media freedom in the
constitution, as the Committee directly interfered with the management,
programming, scheduling and content of stories related to Parliament, the
President, and the government. Still, these were relatively few
regulations since the Parliamentary Committee controlled only the three
state-owned media. The rest of the media enjoyed freedom from the government.
In the years following the communist monopoly of power, journalists began
gradually to oppose a press law. Until 1989, ninety percent of Bulgarian
journalists favored a press law. Three years later, in 1992, the percentage was
the same, due to journalists' view that a press law was necessary to delineate
and thus, to protect, the long awaited freedom of the press. In 1991, a
draft of a "Law on Mass Information Activities," created by two law professors
in Sofia University, was proposed by the Union of Bulgarian Journalists. The
draft was so restrictive that journalists rejected it themselves. As early
as 1991 some journalists argued that a separate media law was not
In 1993, the ratio of press law proponents and opponents reversed, with
only ten percent in favor of a press law. In 1995, a press law was viewed
mostly as a restriction on freedom. A survey conducted with a convenience
sample of fifty Bulgarian journalists and media managers who participated in
journalism-related seminars indicated that, generally, they opposed a press law.
The respondents did think that Bulgarian journalism needed legal provisions
guaranteeing the security and safety of journalists and a free access to
information. But they also saw a possible law as inevitably including hidden,
if not open, restrictions on journalism. One journalist wrote: "A media law in
the current conditions will be repressive and limiting." Another journalist
wrote: "If there is a law on the press, it would probably serve politicians
better than journalists."
The increased number of publications, together with the fewest
restrictions on the press in the history of the country, made Bulgarian
post-communist journalism especially susceptible to the violation of basic,
universally respected journalistic values. Modern history shows that
post-communist Bulgaria was no exception in the licentious journalism that
usually accompanies the early period after liberation. Immediately after
1989, Bulgarian newsstands displayed an overwhelming abundance of rumors
presented as news, shocking headlines unsupported by stories, crude language,
graphic pictures, and uncritical citing of unidentified sources. A
comparative study of reporting and writing styles of the Bulgarian media
conducted in 1993, concluded that an accepted way to beat the competition was
simply to alter the facts. The Bulgarian language includes a conditional verb
form that, operationally at least, means: "I did not see, but it has been
said...." This verb occurred in as much as eighty percent of the front page
stories in leading newspapers.
Some of these practices were attributed to the new generation of
journalists who entered the media immediately after 1989. The new media,
founded after the ousting of the regime, needed new, uncorrupted voices. These
could only come from very young reporters or people with no journalistic
experience, the new media managers thought. Indeed, visits to Bulgarian
local newsrooms in 1994 and 1995 showed that about half of the interviewed
reporters and media managers had no prior journalistic experience. The
post-communist media were created by journalists with no formal training, no
professional experience, and often with little life experience, but with plenty
After years of dull or pompous ideological indoctrination or effortful
reading between the lines, the audience embraced these new journalists, but soon
realized it could not trust them either. Amidst the truth-distortion and
lies in the media, the audience faced the challenge of how to be truly informed.
A 1992 Gallup survey showed that forty-four percent of the interviewed
Bulgarians throughout the country read four or more newspapers. Audience
members read side by side a variety of newspapers, comparing quotes and figures,
trying to reconstruct the truth by taking the median on a continuum of extremes.
The phenomenon has been called "triangulating for the truth."
These developments were accompanied by the dependency of Bulgarian media
on ideological and financial institutions. Even after the decline of party
publications, many of the national and local newspapers were tied directly to or
were indirectly dependent on financial groups with certain political interests.
The media were expected to serve these interests in exchange for the
sponsorship. For example, many weeklies in provincial cities published under
the auspices of the city government and had their offices in the city halls.
Reporting in these publications could not be trusted as independent of the
agenda, actions, and position of the publisher. Not surprisingly, in two
polls of Bulgarian audience members in the 1990s, forty-two percent answered
negatively to the question "Is Bulgarian journalism independent?" and fifty-one
percent said no to the question: "In general, are Bulgarian journalists ethical
in their coverage and commentaries on events?"
Even at that time of deserved audience distrust, however, Bulgarian
journalists shared concerns about ethics in their work. Contrary to the
practice of rumor-spreading and fact-slanting, most journalists realized the
need to abide by universally accepted ethical values. As early as 1990 the
Union of Bulgarian Journalists issued an appeal to all Bulgarian journalists to
abide by international ethical principles followed by their colleagues in the
rest of Europe. Members of the editorial board of the magazine Bulgarski
Zhurnalist regularly discussed in opinion columns their desire for the ethical
practice of journalism. Other discussions of ethics included essays on the
state of ethics in the country historically and presently and cited
international codes of ethics. In addition, in the face of fierce verbal
fights among journalists of different political convictions, made public through
the media, a new "ethic of debate" was advocated.
In March 1994, Pogled came out with a front page appeal: "The word is
morality, therefore, do not write a lot--write the truth!"  At the same
time, the Tenth Congress of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists proposed Rules
for Journalistic Ethics and adopted them after a majority vote in their favor.
The same year, a survey of reporters, writers, and media managers, had shown
ninety-five of one hundred Bulgarian journalists agreed that:
--journalists in any circumstances must defend freedom of speech;
--journalists must respect the truth, no matter what their political
beliefs and affiliations;
--journalists bear the whole responsibility for their work;
--journalists must protect their sources;
--journalists should not take advantage of people's honesty and
In addition, seventy-five percent said that journalists' work should not
set people of different racial, ethnic, and religious background against each
other; seventy-five percent agreed that journalists should not collaborate with
intelligence services; seventy-three percent said that journalists should not
put their personal or commercial interests before their work; seventy-one
percent agreed that media should be politically independent; and sixty-five
percent said that journalists should not reveal the identity of criminals under
age. The study concluded that the majority of Bulgarian journalists expressed
concerns about ethics but failed in its practice. The principles upon which the
respondents agreed served as the basis for the adopted Rules of Journalistic
The growing concern for ethics was further demonstrated in a series of
interviews with more than thirty Bulgarian journalists and journalism educators
conducted in 1995. The interviews revealed the ethical questions that
Bulgarian journalists faced daily in the fifth year after the fall of communism.
Reporters were struggling with ethical questions even more then than in the
early post-communist times of unlimited freedom. In 1995 journalists had to
fight the unfavorable image left by their colleagues in the earlier times of
chaos and euphoria after the end of government control on the press.
Journalists realized that irresponsible use of documents, distortion of
information, and failure to protect sources had led many Bulgarians to lose
trust in the media as institutions and in journalists as individuals. In 1995
more than ever before, journalists faced refusals by potential sources to talk
to reporters, citing previous negative encounters with sensationalist media.
In addition, in a country with increasing inflation, poverty, and
cynicism, Bulgarian journalists began asking essential ethics questions. Should
they pay sources for information? If it is not wrong, what would be considered a
payment--a free meal, reimbursement for time and travel expenses, or simply
buying the information with cash? Is it right to do undercover reporting? How
long and before whom is a promise from a journalist not to reveal a source
valid? Is it not wrong for journalists to eavesdrop, or secretly audio and
videotape, especially after years of communist secret police's spying on
citizens? Eavesdropping and secret taping were forbidden constitutionally as
well as by a "Law on the special means" that banned listening to police
scanners. But it was no secret among journalists that the most successful
newspapers got the hottest information by violating these laws.
Even if not all of these questions were new, they were asked in a new
environment. Paying for information had not been an issue for at least the
forty-five years of communism. Eavesdropping of police communication was
unthinkable before 1989. Undercover reporting was sometimes practiced even
before 1989 but within clearly delineated limits. The ethical questions of
Bulgarian journalists in the mid-1990s came after several years of experimenting
with the borders of press freedom. The stage of exploring just how far one can
go had passed, leaving a realization that, instead of sensations, it was
truthful, balanced and respectful (for sources and readers) journalism the
To sum up, transition also occurred in the area of journalism ethics in
the Bulgarian post-communist media system. While in the early post-communist
period journalists were testing the limits of their new freedom, they gradually
began to consider ethical behavior an essential part of the journalist's work.
The adopted Rules of Journalistic Ethics, while not immediately stopping
unethical journalism, was a step toward a socially responsible press.
This clearly shows a mixture of the libertarian and social responsibility
press philosophies among Bulgarian journalists in the area of media ethics. In
the area of media law, the libertarian concept is evident in the journalists'
later opposition to media laws. In addition, the state regulation over national
broadcasting shows the presence of the democratic socialist concept.
Projections for the future: In a media system that is changing so
rapidly, any attempt to predict future development must be cautious. However,
the interviews and surveys with Bulgarian journalists, media managers and
educators showed distinct tendencies of development within the next five years
and a great deal of optimism for Bulgarian journalism in twenty years.
In five years, Bulgarian journalists predict a decreased number of
newspapers. Only those newspapers that are most popular and/or those backed by
powerful economic groups will survive the intense competition. In general, the
audience considers these publications the most professionally written
newspapers, too. A further consolidation of national and local newspapers in
country-wide chains is predicted. Any new publications are expected to be
politically independent. A further decay of party-affiliated newspapers is
expected. The new print media that may appear in the future are likely to be
specialized technical publications for target audiences, such as specialized
Growth in radio and television, especially in the private regional
stations, seems inevitable. Breaking the monopoly of BNR and BNT and the start
of national private broadcasting is also expected, but not soon. In general,
there is hope for more journalistic independence and opportunities for
unfettered service to the audience. Journalists see a trend to a growing
influence of local press and broadcasting, which might suggest the introduction
of the democratic-participant concept in the Bulgarian media system.
In twenty years, Bulgarian journalists believe, their media system will
be entirely westernized. They envision economically powerful newspapers and
broadcasting media, higher quality of information, and prestige for the
The media system of Bulgaria will remain transitional until the economy
stabilizes and reaches the state of a true free market. Because of the mixture
of press philosophies among journalists (libertarian, self-responsibility,
remains of communist ), discrepancy with the government's and politicians' press
philosophies (authoritarian, communist) and the existence of state-supported
media (an element of Picard's democratic socialist concept), several normative
concepts will continue to coexist in the Bulgarian media system. Some of these
prescriptive press concepts may disappear (most likely the communist one) and
new philosophies (perhaps the democratic-participant) may be adopted. But it is
unlikely that a media scholar in the near future will be able to classify the
Bulgarian media system with one normative concept alone.
Discussion: This study reviewed the existing press typologies and
proposed a new approach for describing the media systems of the rapidly changing
societies of post-communist Europe. The examination of the developments in
three areas of Bulgarian journalism: media management and economics, media,
political parties and the government, and media law and ethics, revealed a
coexistence of five prescriptive concepts: libertarian, authoritarian,
communist, social responsibility, and democratic socialist. Specifically, the
examination of post-communist developments in media economics and management
demonstrated dominance of the libertarian press concept. The examination of
developments in the relationships among media, political parties, and the
government showed a coexistence of the libertarian, authoritarian, communist,
and democratic socialist concepts. The examination of developments in media law
and ethics revealed a coexistence of the libertarian, social responsibility, and
democratic socialist concepts. Therefore, the proposed transitional concept is
suitable for describing developments in the major aspects of the Bulgarian
 Throughout the study, the terms media, press and journalism are used
interchangeably. The study focuses specifically on newspapers, magazines,
radio and television. When the term Eastern Europe is used it refers to all
countries of the former communist bloc, including Southeastern and Central
Europe, as well as Russia and the newly independent states.
 Roger D. Wimmer and Joseph Dominick, Mass Media Research: An
Introduction, 3rd ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1991), p. 128.
 Although most of the world press typologies are called theories,
they are not really theories in the social science sense of the term, e.g.,
they are not based on empirical research and do not provide a realistic picture,
but mix it with the ideal for a given system. [See for example, Maxwell E.
McCombs and Lee B. Becker, Using Mass Communication Theory (Englewood Cliffs,
N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1979), p. 10.] Therefore the various typologies
are referred to here as concepts.
 The Four Theories book set forth the thesis that "the press always
takes on the form and coloration of the social political structures within which
it operates." [See Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm,
Four Theories of the Press: The Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social
Responsibility and Soviet Communist Concepts of What the Press Should Be and
Do, 2nd ed. (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1963), p. 1.]
The view that the different media systems are based on political differences was
also part of Hachten's Five concepts of the press. [See William A. Hachten,
The World News Prism: Changing Media, Clashing Ideologies, 2nd ed. (Ames, IA:
Iowa State University Press, 1987), p. 15, and William A. Hachten, The World
News Prism: Changing Media of International Communication, 3rd ed. (Ames, IA:
Iowa State University Press, 1992), p. 15.] Merrill added that the press not
only reflects the ideology of the system in which it functions, but supports it
and cannot exceed this system's limits. See John C. Merrill, The Imperative of
Freedom: A Philosophy of Journalistic Autonomy, 2nd ed. (White Plains, N. Y.:
Longman, 1990), pp. 23, 24; John Merrill, "A Conceptual Overview of World
Journalism," in International and Intercultural Communication, eds. John C.
Merrill and Heinz-Dietrich Fischer (New York: Hastings House, 1976), p. 18;
John C. Merrill and Ralph Lowenstein, Media, Messages and Men: New Perspective
in Communication 2nd ed. (New York: David McKay Company, 1979), p. 173; John
C. Merrill and S. Jack Odell, Philosophy and Journalism (New York: Longman,
1983), p. 151. Others also suggested that. [See Lucian W. Pye, ed.,
Communication and Political Development (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University
Press, 1963), p. 4, 11, and Chachal Sarkar, "Journalists' Organizations in
Socialist Society," in International and Intercultural Communication, p. 37.
This definition was shared, almost verbatim, by media theoreticians from the
former communist countries. C.f., Hungarian theorist Tamas Szecsko who argued
that the system of mass communications adjusts itself to the structure of
political and educational-cultural institutions. See Tamas Szecsko, "The
Development of a Socialist Communication Theory," in Mass Media Policies in
Changing Cultures, ed. George Gerbner (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1974), p.
 Denis McQuail, Media Performance: Mass Communication and the Public
Interest (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992), p. 66. See also Carl P. Burrowes,
"Measuring Freedom of Expression Cross-Culturally: Some Methodological and
Conceptual Problems," Mass Comm Review (Winter/Spring 1989):38-51.
 See J. Herbert Altschull, Agents of Power: The Media and Public
Policy, 2nd ed. (White Plains, N.Y.: Longman, 1995), pp. 373-395 .
 See Merrill, "A Conceptual Overview," p. 19; Merrill, Imperative,
p. 25; Merrill and Odell, Philosophy, p. 153. It should be noted that the
two dimensions mentioned above are not mutually exclusive. A prescriptive press
concept, that is a concept of "how the media ought to behave"also includes
directives on whether the media should be privately- or state-owned [See
Burrowes, p. 40].
 Siebert, Peterson, & Schramm, Four Theories, p. 1
 Jane L. Curry, "Media Control in Eastern Europe," in Press Control
Around the World, eds. Jane L. Curry and Joan R. Dassin (London: Praeger,
1982), p. 121.
 Ellen Mickiewicz, Media and the Russian Public (New York: Praeger,
1981), p. 147.
 Robert Picard, "Revisions of the 'Four Theories of the Press'
Model," Mass Comm Review (Winter/Spring 1982-83): 25-28.
 Ithiel De Sola Pool, "The Mass Media and Politics in the
Modernization Process," in Communication and Political Development, pp. 234-53.
 See Daniel Lerner, The Passing of Traditional Society: Modernizing
the Middle East (New York: The Free Press, 1958), pp. 398-412.
 Merrill and Lowenstein, Media, Messages and Men, p. 164.
 Merrill, Imperative, p. 37.
 Ibid., pp. 40-43.
 Hachten, Prism, pp. 16.
 Ibid., p. 33.
 Among those emphasizing economics were Robert Picard and J.
Herbert Altschull. [See Picard, "Revisions", and J. Herbert Altschull, Agents
of Power (1995), p. 49.] Among those suggesting a co-existence of normative
theories or philosophies in one media system were Raymond Williams, Bonnie
Brownlee, and Kaarle Nordenstreng. [See Raymond Williams, Communications 2nd
ed. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1966), p. 19, and Bonnie Brownlee, "The
Nicaraguan Press: Revolutionary, Developing or Socially Responsible?" Gazette
33 (1984): 155-172.] Also, Kaarle Nordenstreng, "Normative Theories of the
Press," lecture at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism,
Columbia, MO, 14 April 1995.
 Picard, "Revisions," p. 27.
 Even before Gorbachev came to power, Altschull, in his first
edition of Agents of Power, used the notion of universal economic restrictions
on the press, establishing a bridge between the press systems of communism and
capitalism. See J. Herbert Altschull, Agents of Power: The Role of the News
Media in Human Affairs (White Plains, N.Y.: Longman, 1984), pp. 107, 123, 141,
150, 202, 298. Such emphasis on the similarities among press systems, instead
of stressing their differences, was a major break in the typical, Cold-war, us
vs. them ideological framework for classification of the world press. [See
also Leonard Sussman, "Developmental Journalism: The Ideological Factor," in
The Third World and Press Freedom, ed. Philip C. Horton (New York: Praeger,
1978), p. 77.]
 See Williams, Communications, p. 19.
 Brownlee, "Nicaraguan Press," pp. 169, 157.
 See, for example, the Programme of the Union of Democratic Forces
(UDF)1994-1998, accessible on-line
same promises were made in political ads aired on Bulgarian National Television
in the 1990, 1991 and 1994 parliamentary election campaigns.
 Hachten, Prism, p. 37.
 See Max Millikan's foreword in Lucian Pye, Politics, Personality,
and Nation Building: Burma's Search for Identity 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1966), p. vii.
 Indian journalist Dilip Mukerjee as quoted by Roger Tatarian, "News
Flow in the Third World," in The Third World and Press Freedom, ed. Philip C.
Horton (New York: Praeger, 1978), p. 43; Filip Dimitrov, "Freeing the Soul
from Communism," The Wall Street Journal, 23 March 1992, p. A10.
 Lerner, Passing, p. 385; Pye, Politics, p. 6.
 Lucian Pye, Aspects of Political Development (Boston: Little Brown
and Company, 1966), p. vii.
 C. R. Irani as quoted in John Vilanilam, "Ownership versus
Developmental News Content: An Analysis of Independent and Conglomerate
Newspapers of India," Gazette 12:1 (1976):5; Everett Rogers, "The Rise and Fall
of the Dominant Paradigm," Journal of Communication 28:1 (Winter 1978):65; Goran
Hedebro, Communication and Social Change in Developing Nations: A Critical View
(Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1982), p. 19; Christine Ogan and Jo
Ellen Fair, "A Little Good News: The Treatment of Development News in Selected
Third World Newspapers," Gazette 33 (1984):191.
 See Frederick T. C. Yu, "Communication Policy and Planning for
Development: Some Notes in Research," in Communication Research--a Half-Century
Appraisal, eds. Daniel Lerner and Lyle M. Nelson (Honolulu: The University
Press of Hawaii, 1977), p. 168; Rogers, "Rise and Fall", p. 68; Pye,
"Introduction," in Communication and Political Development, p. 15.
 Charles E. Morrison, Director of the East-West Center Program on
International Economics and Politics, Honolulu, Hawaii, letter, 19 July 1993.
 World Development Report 1992: Development and the Environment
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 219. The Report (p. xi)
defined countries with GNP per capita of more than $610 but less than $7,610 as
middle-income, which in turn were divided into lower and upper middle-income at
the level of $2,465. The data are generally reliable, at least allowing
comparisons with other countries more than the data provided by the 1993
Statistical Reference Book of Republic of Bulgaria (Sofia: National Statistical
Institute) and by Natsionalen Statisticheski Institut, Statisticheski
Spravochnik 1994 [Statistical reference book] (Sofia: Statistichesko
Izdatelstvo i Pechatnitsa) which did not list GNP or GNP per capita and gave
data only in the Bulgarian monetary unit of leva.
 Wilbur Schramm, Mass Media and National Development: The Role of
Information in the Developing Countries (Stanford, CA: Stanford University
Press, 1964), p. 9; Harry T. Oshima, "Development and Mass Communication--a
Reexamination," and Everett Rogers, "The Passing of the Dominant
Paradigm--Reflection of Diffusion Research," in Communication and Social Change:
The Last Ten Years--and the Next, eds. Wilbur Schramm and Daniel Lerner
(Honolulu: The University of Hawaii Press, 1976), pp. 19, 49, 65; Vilanilam,
"Ownership," p. 4.
 World Development Report 1992, p. 215.
 Morrison, letter.
 Denis McQuail, Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction (Beverly
Hills, CA: Sage, 1983), p. 94.
 Paul Underwood, "Bulgaria," in World Press Encyclopedia vol. 1,
ed. George T. Kurian. (New York: Facts on File, 1982), p. 178; Richard
Schwarzlose, "Press Freedom in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia: A Tale of Two Nations,"
in Revolutions for Freedom: The Mass Media in Eastern and Central Europe, eds.
Al Hester and L. Earle Reybold (Athens, GA: The James M. Cox, Jr. , Center
for International Mass Communication Training & Research, The Henry W. Grady
College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, 1991), p.
16. According to UNESCO, the Bulgarian illiteracy rate is less than 5 percent.
[The World Bank Atlas 1989 (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 1989), p. 6.
 Wilbur Schramm, "World Distribution of the Mass Media," in
International and Intercultural Communication, p. 185.
 World Communications: A 200-Country Survey of Press, Radio,
Television and Film (New York: Unipub, 1975), p. 369; Underwood, "Bulgaria,"
p. 169; and Department of Economic and Social Development Statistical Office,
Statistical Yearbook 1988/89 (New York: United Nations, 1990), p. 213.
 Statisticheski Spravochnik 1994, p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 179; Krasimir Tsigularov, "Bulgarskite Telekomunikatsii
Se Opitvat Da Nastignat Razvitite Strani" [Bulgarian telecommunications attempt
to overtake the developed countries], Duma, 19 February 1992, p. 6.
 Tracy L. Barnett, "Cooperation Translates in Bulgaria: IRE Goes
Abroad," The IRE Journal, July-August 1995, p. 4.
 Ivan Ganev, "The Union of Bulgarian Journalists--A Portrait Put
Together from Facts," The Democratic Journalist 33:9 (September 1986):14.
 Vesselin Dimitrov, Bulgarite i Radioto [Bulgarians and radio].
(Sofia: Sofia University Kliment Ohridski Press, 1988), pp. 97-141; John Edgar
Reid, Jr., "A Media System on the Verge of Change: TV Broadcasting in
Bulgaria," in Al Hester, L. Earle Reybold and Kimberly Conger, eds., The
Post-Communist Press in Eastern and Central Europe: New Studies (Athens, GA:
The James M. Cox, Jr., Center for International Mass Communication Training &
Research, The Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication,
University of Georgia, 1992), p. 108; Elena Statelova, "Bulgarskoto
Radio--Minalo i Traditsii" [Bulgarian radio--past and traditions], Bulgarski
Zhurnalist 1 (1995):45.
 Bill Kuykendall and Ekaterina Ognianova, "Attitudes of Bulgarian
Journalists Toward the Use of Photojournalism in Newspapers & Magazines in the
Post-Communist Era," report presented at a Freedom Forum discussion "Aiding
Bulgarian Media," Arlington, VA, January 1993, pp. 7, 14; personal observations
and information from interviews conducted between June 6 and 17 1994, with
fourteen regional newspapers in Bulgaria, all of which had equipment for
 An advertisement in 24 Chasa [24 Hours], 4 July 1995, p. 24.
 McQuail, Mass Communication Theory, p. 94.
 Slavko Splichal, "Media and State-Supported Nationalism in Eastern
Europe," Media Development 3 (1992):10. See also Christopher Cviic, Remaking
the Balkans (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1991), p. 9.
 Jim Boumelha, "What is in Store for East European Media--Pergamon
Press Experience," The Democratic Journalist 32:12 (December 1990):6.
 These were the Voice of America, BBC-World Service, Radio Free
Europe, Radio France International and Deutsche Welle. [See Vesselin Dimitrov
and Snezhana Popova, Novoto Radio. [The new radio]. (Sofia: Vitrage, 1995],
p. 84. C.f., Lilia Raycheva, "Bulgarian Media in Transition (1988-1994),"
paper presented at a conference of the International Association for Mass
Communication Research, Portoroz, Slovenia, June 27-30, 1995, p. 9.]
 Dimitrov, "Freeing the Soul," p. A10.
 Hachten, Prism, p. 36.
 Centre for Social Practices-Sofia, "Political Situation in Bulgaria
Following the Local Elections of October-November 1995," ad hoc paper, June
1995, accessible on-line
 Georgi Karasimeonov, "The Legislature in Post-Communist Bulgaria,"
paper presented at a Conference on the New Parliaments in Eastern Europe,
Stirin, Czech Republic, 14-17 August 1994, p. 36.
 Ibid.; "Chetirideset i Edna Partii i Koalitsii Registrira do
Snoshti CIK, no Mozhe da Stanat Poveche," [Forty-one parties and coalitions were
registered until last night by the Central Electoral Commission but there may be
more], Duma, 14 September 1991, p. 1.
 Tsentralna Izbiratelna Komisija, "Reshenie 249, Sofia, 16 Noemvri
1994, Otnosno Registriraneto i Uchastieto na Zastupnitsite, Nabljudatelite i
Predstavitelite na Partii i Koalitsii pri Provezhdaneto na Izborite za Narodni
Predstaviteli na 18 Dekemvri 1994 Godina" [Decision 249, Sofia, 16 November
1994, regarding the registration and participation of supporters, monitors, and
representatives of parties and coalitions during the elections for members of
Parliament on 18 December 1994].
 "Chetirima ot Vseki Pet Glasuvaha," [Four out of five voted],
Chernomorski Far, 19 December 1994, p. 1.
 Interview with Dimitar Naidenov, Director of Balkan British Social
Surveys-Sofia, Bulgaria, and Assistant Professor of Print Journalism, Sofia
University Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, 10 March 1995.
 Eva Assenova, "Nashiat Sujuznik sa Chitatelite" [Our allies are the
readers], Pogled, 24 May 1993, p. 12.
 Juliana Metodieva, "Enichari Hodjat, Maino Ljo," [Janissaries are
coming, mother], Svoboden Narod, 7-13 February 1992, p. 7.
 Janos Horvat, "How Free are East European Media without State
Control?" Media Development 4 (1992): 37.
 Todor Petev, "Transitive Democratization of the Bulgarian Press:
Postponed Victories," in Sociology in a Society in Transition, ed. Nikolai
Genov, (Sofia: Bulgarian Sociological Association, 1994) p.103.
 Lerner, Passing, p. 93; Merrill, Imperative, pp. 58-59.
 In Lerner's 1963 survey of the Middle East, every society with
urbanization above 25 percent and literacy above 50 percent rated as modern.
According to these criteria, Bulgaria is a modern country with its high literacy
rate and urbanization. (The urban population is 68 percent. See World
Development Report 1992, p. 279.)
 McQuail, Mass Communication Theory, p. 94.
 Brownlee, "The Nicaraguan Press," pp. 168-69.
 Chris W. Allen, "The Absence of Theory in the Russian Media,"
paper presented at a conference of the Association for Education in Journalism
and Mass Communication, Washington, D.C., August 9-12, 1995, p. 36.
 See the conclusion of Edmund B. Lambeth, "Global Media
Philosophies, " in Global Journalism, p. 16.
 Christine L. Ogan, "Development Journalism/Communication: The
Status of the Concept," Gazette 29 (1982):10-11.
 France Vreg, "Political, National, and Media Crises," in Glasnost
and After, pp. 55-61.
 McQuail, Mass Communication Theory, pp. 96-98. The movement for
public or civic journalism in the United States of the 1990s seems to be based
on this or a similar normative concept.
 Based also on Picard's democratic socialist theory describing press
systems in Western Europe, which include state-owned broadcasting to ensure that
the audience receives information it is believed to need, not just the type of
information that is most wanted commercially [See Robert Picard, "Revisions," p.
27]. The democratic socialist system is similar to Williams's paternal system
[See Williams, Communications, p. 19].
 "Politika i Zhurnalistika: Namordnik ili Informatsionen Teror"
[Politics and journalism: Muzzle or information terror], Bulgarski Zhurnalist
5 (1992):4; Nevena Gjurova, "Nie, ot Erata na Divia Kapitalisum" [We, from the
era of the wild capitalism], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 3 (1994):15; Stefan Krause,
"Purges and Progress in Bulgaria," Transition, 6 October 1995, p. 46.
 "Bulgarian Publications Tally Tops 1,000 after Births, Deaths,"
Center for Foreign Journalists Clearinghouse 11 (November 1993):151-152.
 Raycheva, "Bulgarian Media in Transition," p. 7; "Na Bulgarskia
Informatsionen Pazar za 366 Dni--451 Vestnika" [On the Bulgarian information
market for 366 days--451 newspapers], Pogled, 1 June 1992, p. 8.
 Ekaterina Slavova, "2664 Abonamentni Zaglavia Vkliuchva Katalogut
na RP za 1993 g." [2,664 titles included in the Postal Service catalog for
1993], Pogled, 14 December 1992, p. 3.
 Georgi Sarakinov, Start-Up and Development of Private Electronic
Media in Bulgaria. (Sofia, Bulgaria: Applied Research and Communications Fund,
September 1994); Snezhana Popova, Bulgarian Private Radio: Second Season.
(Sofia, Bulgaria: Applied Research and Communications Fund, September 1994);
Frank Aycock, "The Birth of a New Industry: Private Radio in Bulgaria: The
Terrible Two," American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 1995
 Sarakinov, p. 4.
 Dimitrov and Popova, Novoto Radio, pp. 19-20.
 Mira Radeva and Sonja Gulubarova, "Narod bez Vestnitsi - Narod bez
Svoboda" [People without newspapers--people without freedom], Trud , 14 February
1991, pp. 1-2.
 Interview with Evgenii Stanchev, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1 June 1994.
 In 1990, Ofelia Hadjikoleva, then editor-in-chief of Svoboden
Narod, admitted she knew nothing about business although she understood its
importance. [See "Hadjikoleva Seeks Excellence" in "Business of Print
Journalism," Nieman Reports 5 (Winter 1990):22.]
 Cynthia F. Wilson, "Freedom Tests the Press in Eastern Europe,"
Presstime, March 1991, p.25; Kjell Engelbrekt, "The Media Adjust to Their New
Environment," Report on Eastern Europe 2:23 (7 June, 1991):6; Paul Simpson,
"East is Eden: Newspaper Publishers with the Urge to Gamble Should Look East
and South Where the Rewards (and the Risks) are as High as an Elephant's Eye,"
Newspaper Focus, June 1991, p. 11.
 Ivan Bakalov, "S Primka na Shiiata Vestnitsite se Ritat pomezhdu
si" [With a noose on the neck, newspapers are kicking each other], Duma, 7 April
1992, p. 4; Engelbrekt, "The Media Adjust," p. 6.
 Miglena Velinova, 1000 Vestnika: Spravochnik na Bulgarskata Presa
sled 10.XI. 1989g. [1000 Newspapers: A Guidebook to the Bulgarian Press after
November 10, 1989] (Sofia, Bulgaria: Department of Journalism and Mass
Communications), 1992, p. 11.
 Paul Simpson, "The Fall and Rise of a Newspaper Industry,"
Newspaper Focus, November/December 1991, p. 28.
 Ibid.; Velinova, "1000 Vestnika," p. 11.
 Velinova, p. 12.
 Aleksei Lazarov, "'Trud,' 'Standart' i Presgrupa '168 Chasa'
Svaliat Turgovskite Otstupki" [Trud, Standart and the pressgroup 168 Chasa
decrease commercial concessions]. Kapital, 9-15 October 1995, p. 39.
 "Za Razprostranenieto--Ahilesovata Peta na Vestnikarstvoto" [About
distribution--Achilles' heel of the press], Pogled, 31 May 1993, p. 5.
 Interview with Ivan Mishev, editor-in-chief of the local daily
Dobro Utro, Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, 15 June 1994.
 Teresa Keller, "Bulgarian Journalists: Job Satisfaction in the
Early Post-Communist Era," paper presented at a conference of the Association
for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Washington, D.C., 9-12
August 1995, p. 15.
 "S Hacho Boyadzhiev Razgovaria Ajsehel Rufi" [Ajsehel Rufi talks
with Hacho Boyadzhiev], Trud, 27 September 1995, p. 15.
 Interview with Vessela Ilieva, Deputy Director of Advertising,
Denyat (The Day) (defunct), Plovdiv, interviewed on 8 June 1994; also Reid, Jr.,
"A Media System on the Verge of Change," pp. 111-112.
 Dimitar Naidenov, "Lichnata Turpimost na Zhurnalista i Mediiniat
Pazar" [Personal tolerance of the journalist and the media market], paper
presented at an international seminar "Tolerance in Journalism," Sofia,
Bulgaria, February 1995, p. 4.
 "Reklamniat Pazar v Periodichnia Pechat: January 1995" [The
advertising market in the periodical press: January 1995], in Balkan British
Social Surveys, Media Index, January 1995, no page number.
 Ibid.; also Reid, Jr., "A Media System on the Verge of Change," p.
 Interviews with Elisaveta Kamenichka, head of the advertising
bureau, and Diana Chochova, advertising agent, Pirinsko Delo (Pirin Cause),
Blagoevgrad, 6 June 1994; and Russi Russev, Editor-in-Chief, Burgas Dnes i Utre
(Burgas Today and Tomorrow), Burgas, 10 June 1994; also see Ed Dulin,
"Newspapers in Bulgaria: An American's Viewpoint," Press Lines, September 1995,
 Interview with Elisaveta Kamenichka, 6 June 1994. The same idea
was expressed by Diana Chochova and Vessela Ilieva; as well as by Janka
Dimitrova and Tsvetana Kalpazanova, advertising agents for CLK radio-television
center in Velingrad, interviewed on 7 June 1994.
 Based on interviews with twenty-five advertising agents in
Bulgarian local newspapers and radio/television stations in June 1994.
 Interview with Russi Russev, Burgas, 10 June 1994.
 "Regional Television in Bourgas," BalkanMedia 4:1 (1995):25.
 Radoslav Bobchev, "Osnovi na zhurnalistikata" [Fundamentals of
journalism] (Sofia: Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski," Zhurnalisticheski
fakultet, 1987), pp. 84-98.
 Interview with Dimitar Naidenov, assistant professor of print
media, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Sofia University,
Bulgaria, 25 August, 1990.
 There were only two known underground newspapers, both published
in 1989, but before the ousting of communism: Alternativa (Alternative) and
Nezavisimost (Independence), which were distributed as computer printouts. [See
Velinova, 1000 Vestnika, p. 19.]
 "Ima li Obektivna Promiana" [Is there an objective change],
Bulgarski Zhurnalist 11/12 (1990):5-7; Elena Gjurova, "Prerazhdane na Presata"
[Rebirth of the press], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 4 (1991):7-11.
 "Barometer," Pogled, 8 November 1993, p. 8.
 Johnson, "Whose Voice?" pp. 28-29; Jeffrey C. Alexander, "The
Mass Media in Systemic, Historical, and Comparative Perspective," in Mass Media
and Social Change, eds. Elihu Katz and Tamas Szecsko (Beverly Hills, CA:
Sage, 1981), pp. 27-32; Jordanka Blagoeva, "Pishtialka s Edin Zvuk" [A penny
whistle with one tone], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 10 (1990): 2; Rasho Rangelov,
Svobodata na Pechata v Bulgaria [Freedom of the press in Bulgaria], vol. 1:
Izsledvania vurhu Zakonodatelstvoto 1865-1900 g. [Studies of the Legislation
1865-1900] (Sofia: Husky, 1994), pp. 56-72.
 Slavenka Draculic, "Struggling to be Born; Bulgaria," The Nation ,
28 May, 1990, p. 735;
"Bulgaria: First Opposition Paper," Mass Media in the World: Excerpts
from the Press (July 1990):2; "Opposition Daily Published," Report on Eastern
Europe, 1:23 (2 March, 1991):57, Engelbrekt, "The Media Adjust," p. 8; Ursula
Ruston, "Mediaitis: A Foreign View of Bulgaria's 'Democratised' Media," Balkan
Media (Winter 1991/92):47; Velinova, 1000 Vestnika, p. 8.
 Vera Ivanovicova, "The Joys and Difficulties of Bulgarian
Journalism Today," The Democratic Journalist 38:1 (January 1991):21; Ruston,
"Mediaitis," p. 48.
 Ibid.; "The Bulgarian Media Are Seeking A New Image," The
Democratic Journalist 38 (August 1991):7.
 Dimitar Kostov, "Politicheski Panair" [Political fair], Duma 60
(1990), day and page number not available.
 Genka Markova, "Nezavisim Vestnik. Shto e To" [Independent
newspaper. What is this?], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 8 (1990):7.
 Asparuch Panov, Vek 21 4 (January 1991), page number not
 Markova, "Nezavisim Vestnik," p. 9.
 "Ofelia Hadjikoleva Veche Ne e Glaven Redaktor na 'Svoboden
Narod'" [Ofelia Hadjikoleva is no longer editor-in-chief of Svoboden Narod],
Duma, 11 June 1991, p. 2; "Volno Pozhertvuvanie Pred Oltara na Demokratsiyata"
[Voluntary sacrifice at the altar of democracy], 168 Chasa, 25 February 1992,
pp. 16-17; "Kak be Smenen Karaulut na Ofitsioza" [How the guard of the
official newspaper was changed], 168 Chasa, 3 March 1992, pp. 16-17; "Da ne
Dava Gospod Da Ostanesh bez Redaktsia" [God forbid that you are left without a
newsroom], Pogled, 25 May 1992, p. 5; Jordanka Blagoeva, "Sluga na Novi
Gospodari" [A servant to new masters], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 5 (1992):2.
 Markova, "Nezavisim Vestnik," p. 9; "Volno Pozhertvuvanie Pred
Oltara na Demokratsiyata," pp. 16-17; "Kak be Smenen Karaulut na Ofitsioza,"
pp. 16-17; "Da ne Dava Gospod Da Ostanesh bez Redaktsia," p. 5.
 "Hadjikoleva Seeks Excellence," p. 22; Simpson, "The Fall and
Rise," p. 29.
 Markova, p. 9.
 Ofelia Hadjikoleva, "Zhurnalistikata e Neshto Po-Visshe ot
Politikata" [Journalism is something higher than politics], Pogled 35, September
1991, p. 5.
 Ruston, "Mediaitis," p. 48; Blagoeva, "Sluga na Novi Gospodari,"
 Yulita Grigorova, "Opozitsiiata e Orisiia za Istinskia Tvorets"
[Opposition is destiny for the truly creative], Svoboden Narod , 10-16 April
1992, p. 10.
 "Izvadki ot Skandalnata 'Nedelia 150' na 3 Mai--Mezhdunarodnia Den
na Svobodata na Pechata, Kogato Svobodata na Slovoto Ne Struvashe i Puknata
Para" [Excerpts from the scandalous radio program "Sunday 150" of May 3--The
international day of freedom of the press when freedom of expression was not
worth a penny], Pogled, 11 May 1992, p. 5.
 "Chronology of Events," The Insider 1 (1990):11-12; Margarita
Pesheva, Televizionnoto Mahalo [The television pendulum] (Vratsa, Bulgaria:
Exacta, 1995), p. 118; Lilia Raycheva, "Political Advertising in Bulgarian
Television (1990-1994)," paper presented at the 46th conference of the
International Communication Association, Chicago, 23-27 May 1996.
 Howard Davis, "Media Change and Democratization: The Bulgarian
Case," paper presented at a Conference on Restructuring of Television in Eastern
Europe, London, University of Westminster, 19-22 October 1993, p. 13.
 Eliezer Alfandari, "Zhurnalistikata kato Opozitsia" [Journalism as
opposition], Pogled, 17 August 1992, p. 8.
 Interview with Evgenii Stanchev (by telephone), 20 September 1992.
 "Dialog v Efira" [Dialogue on the air], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 9
 Grigorova, p. 10; Alfandari, p. 8; Petyo Bluskov, "Neshtata sa
Mnogo Elementarni i Zatova Mnogo Strashni" [Things are very basic and therefore
very frightening], Pogled, 17 August 1992, p. 8; Nikolai Stefanov, "Tuhlomet
Strelia Kirpich" [A brick-thrower is shooting at adobe], Pogled, 17 August 1992,
p. 8; interview with Stanchev, 20 September 1992; and interview with Nikolai
Stefanov, head of the international news department of Trud, conducted by
telephone on 20 September 1992 during Stefanov's visit to the Freedom Forum in
 The status of Demokratsiya as an official government newspaper was
openly protested by journalists--both working in it and their colleagues from
other UDF publications. See Asparuch Panov's article in Vek 21 (January 1991,
and Blagoeva, "Sluga na Novi Gospodari," p. 3.
 Interview with Elena Doicheva, Director of the Burgas State
Archive, Bulgaria (conducted in Columbia, Missouri), 10 August 1994.
 For example, in 1992, Ivan Garelov, anchor of the television
political affairs program Panorama, said that some politicians very aggressively
pressured him for positive coverage, harassing him with continuous telephone
calls. (See Svetlana Bozhilova, "Polititsite ni Zavladiaha, Prevurnaha ni v
Mikrofoni" [Politicians conquered us, turned us into mouthpieces], Bulgarski
Zhurnalist 2 (1992):10.)
 Petar Dertliev, "A Politician's View of Television in Bulgaria,"
BalkanMedia (Winter 1991/92):17.
 A Bulgarian radio anchor quoted in Schwarzlose, " Press Freedom in
Bulgaria and Yugoslavia," p. 18.
 Experienced personally by the author during her work in Pogled in
1990 and 1991.
 Miko Petrov, "Stariat Leninov Vupros e na Vlast v Radioto" [The
old Lenin's question is in power in radio], 168 Chasa, 12 May 1992, p. 12.
 Engelbrekt, "The Bulgarian Media Adjust to Their New Environment,"
p. 9; Encho Enev, "Bolestite na Bulgarskoto Radio" [The diseases of Bulgarian
radio], Vek 21, 14 April 1992, p. 5.
 Svetla Zhelyazkova, "Media Muzzled," The Insider 9 (1991):13. The
resolution was not implemented in practice.
 Interviews with Zornitsa Gjurova, March 1995.
 Dimitrov and Popova, Novoto radio, pp. 103-104.
 Margarita Pesheva, " Vinagi Kontra na Polititsite" [Always against
politicians], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 9 (1991):19-20.
 Dimitrov and Popova, Novoto radio, p. 104.
 Svobodin Lambrev, quoted in Dimitrov and Popova, Novoto Radio, pp.
130. Lambrev was then a journalist in Radio 99, the second most popular
private radio station in Sofia, according to a Gallup poll of September 1995
[see Balkan British Social Surveys, Radio Audience in Sofia, September 1995, p.
 Interviews with Stratsimir Kulinski, Deputy Director, Program
Director, and anchor, and Albena Zhelyazkova, News Director, Radio AURA,
Blagoevgrad, 6 June 1994; Ivan Asjov, President of the CLK radio-television
center, Velingrad, 7 June, 1994; Todor Ivanov, Program Director of Radio
Vesselina, Plovdiv, 8 June 1994; Vanyo Vulchev, Program Director, Radio Juzhen
Bryag (South Beach), Burgas, 10 June 1994; Nikolai Kolev, Program Director,
Radio Veliko Turnovo, 15 June 1994; and Nikolai Hristov and Krasimir Dimitrov,
Directors, Radio Glarus (Seagull), Burgas, 17 March 1995..
 "Hadjikoleva Seeks Excellence," p. 22.
 Simpson, "The Fall and Rise of a Newspaper Industry," pp. 29..
 Krum Blagov, "Filegate a la Bulgare," The Insider 6 (1991):11.
 Hadjikoleva, "Zhurnalistikata e Neshto Po-Visshe ot Politikata,"
 "Back to the Bad Old Days?" International Press Institute Report
(September 1993):17; Dina Iordanova, "Restructuring of Bulgarian TV within the
Current Political Context," paper presented at a Conference on Restructuring of
Television in Eastern Europe, London, University of Westminster, 19-22 October
1993, pp. 5-6; "Bulgarian Parliament Replaces State Media Bosses," Open Media
Research Institute's (OMRI) Daily Digest, 25 June 1995, delivered
 "Bulgarian TV Boss Sacks Top Executives," OMRI Daily Digest, 28
July 1995, delivered electronically; "Bulgarian State Radio Boss Sacks Deputy,"
OMRI Daily Digest, 7 December 1995, delivered electronically; Krause, "Purges,"
 "The Bulgarian Media are Seeking a New Image," p. 7.
 "Parliament to Tighten Control Over BTA," Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty (RFE/RL) Report, 25 April 1994, delivered electronically.
 Elena Bradvarova, "Informatsiata e Vlast" [Information is power],
Bulgarski Zhurnalist 2 (1992):5-8.
 See Milena Neshkova, "Zashto Durzhavata Krie Efira ot Chastnitsi?"
[Why the state hides the ether from private entrepreneurs], 24 Chasa, 19 January
1994, p. 13. A 1995 Law on Concessions ruled that private electronic media
must be relicensed and that private broadcasting stations with a national range
must be approved by the Council of Ministers. Bulgarian journalists feared the
new law would put private electronic media under direct dependence from the
government. See Assen Assenov, "Media Under New Regulations," accessible
 Pesheva, Televizionnoto Mahalo , p. 174; Dimitar Frangov,
"Bulgarian Television in the Time of Saparev: The Price of a Compromise,"
BalkanMedia (Winter 1991/92):15; "Top TV Reporter Sacked," and "TV's Blind
Obedience," International Press Institute Report 43:1 (January 1994):12; OMRI
Daily Digest, 25, 26, 28 July, 17 October, 8, 14 November 1995, delivered
electronically; "Durzhavnite Medii se Vurnaha Otnovo v Izhodno Polozhenie" [The
state media returned back to start point], Kontinent, 23 July 1995, p. 6;
"Parlamentut Jahna Durzhavnite Radio i TV" [The Parliament mounted the state
radio and TV], 24 Chasa, 4 July 1995, p. 23.
 Advice by Ivan Garelov, quoted by Svetoslava Staeva in Pesheva, "
Vinagi Kontra na Polititsite," p. 22.
 Reid, Jr., "A Media System on the Verge of Change," p. 117.
 Interview with Daniela Boyanova, BNT anchor for the program
Planeta, Sofia, 11 March 1995.
 "Newspaper Strike in Bulgaria," p. 43; "VAT and Other Issues," p.
252; "Za Razprostranenieto," p. 5.
 Eliezer Alfandari, "Bulgarian Media Today: The Censor and His
Mentor," BalkanMedia 3 (1994):32.
 Kiril Neshev, Problemi na Zhurnalisticheskata Etika [Problems of
journalistic ethics] (Sofia: Nauka I Izkustvo, 1978), p. 89.
 Nedialka Karalieva, Zhurnalistkata: Zapiski iz Bulgarskata
Dushevnost v Perioda 1944-1958 [The journalist: Notes about the Bulgarian
mentality in the 1944-1958 period] (Sofia: IK "Alisa," 1995), back page cover.
 Petev, "Transitive Democratization of the Bulgarian Press" p.
 Verginia Jordanova, "The Politics of Change in Bulgaria,"
Intermedia 20:3 (May-June 1992):16; Milena Neshkova, "Radioto i Televiziata Pak
bez Zakon?" [Radio and television without a law again?], 24 Chasa, 27 February
1995, p. 11; Ljudmila Zasheva, "Komisiiata po Radio i Televizia Skoro Shte Bude
Razformirovana" [The Committee on Radio and Television will soon be
discontinued], Trud, 12 April 1995, p. 3.
 Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, Established by the Grand
National Assembly on 12 July, 1991 (Sofia: Sofia Press, 1992), p. 12.
 The provision that allows the Committee's supervision of the state
media was under investigation and ruled unconstitutional by the Bulgarian
Constitutional Court in 1995. [See "Bulgarian Constitutional Court Reviews
Media Statute," OMRI Daily Digest, 19 July 1995, and "Parliamentary Control Over
Bulgarian State Media Unconstitutional," OMRI Daily Digest, 20 September 1995,
delivered electronically; also "Tatarchev Dade na KS Statuta na Mediite"
[Tatarchev gave the media statute to the Constitutional Court], 24 Chasa, 15
July 1995, p. 5;"Konstitutsionen Sud Reshenie No.16 ot 19 Septemvri 1995 g. po
Konstitutsionno Delo No. 19 ot 1995 g." [Constitutional Court Decision No. 16
of September 19, 1995, on constitutional case No. 19 of 1995], Durzhaven
vestnik [State newspaper] 86, 1995, pp. 2-4; "Parlamentut s Otriazani Prava nad
Natsionalnite Medii " [Parliament with cut authority over national media], Duma,
20 September 1995, p. 2; Vassil Vassilev, "Svobodata na Slovoto ne Skri
Politicheskata Golota na Konstitutsionnia Sud" [Freedom of the press did not
hide the Constitutional Court's political nudity], Duma, 25 September 1995, p.
1]. The Court ruled that the Committee cannot make decisions regarding the
management, structure, programming, and legal statutes of the state media, but
instead, can make propositions to be discussed with and decided upon by the
Parliament. [See "Freedom of Information Update," CFJ Clearinghouse on the
Central & East European Press 21 (October 1995):315; "Bulgarian Constititional
Court Rules on Media Control," OMRI Daily Digest, 13 December, delivered
 "Zakon za Pechata: Dali, Zashto, Kakuv?" [Law on the press: If,
why, what], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 8 (1991):2-8; Chavdar Krumov, "Koito ne
Doide--Zagubi! Hak da mu e" [Those who didn't come--lost! Serves them right],
Pogled, 5 July 1993, p. 6.
 "Zakon za Masovata Informatsionna Deinost" [Law on the mass
information activities], Pogled, 24 June 1991, p. 5; "Pokushenie sreshtu
Svobodata" [A crack on freedom], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 7 (1991):2-7; Alexander
Angelov, "Vednuzh da! Vednuzh sakun" [Once yes! Once no!] Bulgarski Zhurnalist 9
(1991):second cover; Vasilka Tankova, "Svobodata e Po-Stara ot Zakona" [Freedom
is older than the law], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 9 (1992):7.
 Reid, Jr., "A Media System on the Verge of Change," p. 111.
 Krumov, "Koito ne Doide--Zagubi!" p. 6.
 Responses to an anonymous survey with a convenience sample of
fifty Bulgarian journalists and media managers who participated in
journalism-related seminars in Bulgaria in May and July 1995. The survey was
conducted by the author.
 See Jeremy Popkin, Revolutionary News: The Press in France
1789-1799 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990), pp. 96-168, and
Margaret Blanchard, Revolutionary Sparks: Freedom of Expression in Modern
America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 23-26.
 Julia Piskulijska, "Uzh Neprikosnovena Istina" [Allegedly
inviolable truth], 150 g. Bulgarska Zhurnalistika, 24 May 1994, p. 7.
 Byron Scott, "Bringing American Journalism to the Balkans," report
for the Meredith Corporation, 1993 (mimeographed), p. 10.
 Naidenov, "Lichnata Turpimost na Zhurnalista i Mediiniat Pazar,"
 The visits were made by the author. See the method section in
Chapter 1 for details.
 Genka Markova, "Agresiata kato Zhurnalistika" [Aggression as
journalism], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 8 (1990):51-53.
 There were exceptions, of course. For example, the entire staff
of the respected national economics weekly Kapital (Capital), in which Reuters
had shares, was made by people under the age of thirty who were concurrently
completing their higher education in economics. In this case, the staff's
expertise in economics was to their advantage and contributed to their
credibility. Interviews with Filip Harmandjiev, Director, and Ivo Prokopiev,
Editor-in-Chief, both under the age of thirty, were conducted in Kapital 's
newsroom located in an apartment downtown Sofia on 13 March 1995. Kapital was
recommended by other Bulgarian journalists as the most trusted newspaper in the
country, especially for its independence and investigative scoops (e.g.,
interview with Diana Ivanova, Radio Free Europe, Sofia, Bulgaria, 12 and 13
March 1995). See also Krause, "Purges," p. 47.
 Nikolai Konstantinov, "Vestnitsi Mnogo, no 'Pogled' e Edin" [Many
newspapers, one Pogled], Pogled, 1 June 1992, p. 5.
 Scott, "Bringing," p. 11.
 "The Bulgarian Media Are Seeking a New Image," p. 7; Angel
Grigorov, "Polusvobodno li e Slovoto," [Is the word semi-free], Pogled, 6 May
1991, p. 8. It must be noted that journalists did not accept such arrangements
uncritically. Russi Russev, Editor-in-chief of Burgas Dnes (Burgas Today), a
weekly published by the city of Burgas, and his staff left the paper in 1994
when a new mayor started interfering with their work. The journalists
registered a private firm and founded an independent local weekly called Burgas
Dnes i Utre (Burgas Today and Tomorrow). [Interview with Russi Russev, Burgas,
10 June 1994.]
 "Nezavisima li e Bulgarskata Zhurnalistika" [Is Bulgarian
journalism independent], Pogled, 7 March 1994, p. 4; Hristo Butsev, "Gildiata
Ottuk Natatuk" [The guild from here on], Pogled, 7 March 1994, p. 3.
 "Bulgaria: Appeal to Abide by Journalistic Code of Ethics," Mass
Media in the World (May 1991):4.
 Zhivko Georgiev, "Novite Realnosti" [The new realities],
Bulgarski Zhurnalist 2 (1991):second cover; Manol Manolov, "Neuteshitelen Pogled
v Nastoyashteto" [Not a comforting look at the present], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 3
(1991):second cover; Zhivko Georgiev, "Vlastnicheska Interventsia" [Authorities'
intervention], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 1 (1992):second cover; Manol Manolov,
"Kogato Suvestta Ne Pozvoliava" [When conscience forbids], Bulgarski Zhurnalist
10 (1992):second cover; Julia Piskulijska, "Profesionalisum s Miarka--Bez Marki"
[Professionalism within limits, not with (Deutsche) marks], Bulgarski
Zhurnalist 4 (1994):second cover.; Rumjana Bratovanova, "Zhurnalistikata Izplita
Sama Primka na Shiiata si" [Journalism itself makes a noose for its neck],
Bulgarski Zhurnalist 2 (1995):57; Kornelia Bozhanova, "Razstrelvai Istinata"
[Shoot the truth], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 3 (1995):23.
 Erika Lazarova, "Eskalatsia na Beztseremonnostta" [Escalation of
aggressiveness], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 8 (1992):4-7; Kamka Novakova, "Etika v
Mediite i Svoboda na Pechata" [Ethics in the media and freedom of the press],
Bulgarski Zhurnalist 2 (1995):42-45.
 Kiril Neshev, "I Prokletite Moralni Pitania" [And the damned moral
questions], Bulgarski Zhurnalist 8 (1992):2-4.
 Pogled, 7 March 1994, p. 1.
 "Pravila na Zhurnalisticheskata Etika Prieti ot Desetia Kongres na
Sujuza na Bulgarskite Zhurnalisti, 6 Mart 1994" [Rules of journalistic ethics
adopted by the Tenth Congress of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists on 6 March
1994 ], Pogled, 14 March 1994, p. 8; also Bulgarski Zhurnalist 4 (1994):10-11.
 Interviews conducted by the author. Also see Barnett,
"Cooperation, pp. 3-4.
 Interview with Alexenia Dimitrova, investigative reporter for
Pogled, Sofia, 10 March 1995.
 For example, two books based on undercover reporting described the
lives of women in a mental institution and in a prison. The authorities were
informed in advance and permitted both projects.
Bulgaria's Transitional Media
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Bulgaria's Transitional Media
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