To attack Delyan Peevski: Give them one report and they'll be off and running

Delyan Peevski

There is this sweet gig you can get - writing long, boring reports for years and getting paid for it. And if you are new at this position, you just plagiarise the work of those who did it before you. But there is an even sweeter gig - getting creative with relating and adding to these reports. We can safely say that the Capital circle media outlets are the kings of this. Especially the website Mediapool.

Forget the crisis, the coronavirus pandemic - give the Mediapool people a foreign report criticising something in Bulgaria and they are off and running.

The latest example is from 31 March. A report by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic is presented in an article with the headline “Bulgarian media are entangled in political and business interests”. The document, which first came out on 10 March, covers topics like racism, intolerance and discrimination, domestic violence and - finally - media freedom.

But in Mediapool's reading of it, the last topic somehow became first. Naturally, the name of lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski was tacked onto it.

“Stopping short of specifically naming the media empire of MRF lawmaker Delyan Peevski, the analysis alludes to it,” Mediapool writes. How do you figure that, dear fellow journalists? Share the secret so we can also have the privilege of seeing something that is not there. Or did you, by any chance, help the Commissioner prepare this report? Likely. She does not name you as contributors, per se, but some of her conclusions strikingly resemble the lies you have been spreading for years.

What media empire? What 80% ownership of all print media outlets? What kind of mathematical tricks do you have to perform to make six publications represent 80% out of the total of 239 that are published in Bulgaria, according to June 2019 data of the National Statistical Institute?

The Commercial Register, which is public domain, lists their owners, but this official information is clearly not enough for you. As for whether their editorial policies are dictated by certain figures' political or business interests, you should ask each one of them individually. Are you really claiming that Delyan Peevski calls 239 chief editors around-the-clock, telling them what to write and what not? You are contradicting yourselves.

It is time for you to check your calculators. Calendars and clocks too. We are in the 21st century, people are increasingly getting their news from Facebook, Twitter and social media as a whole. They also use these platforms to share their opinions on topical issues. The fact that your sales and readers are dwindling has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It is called market economy: if you provide good content, people will buy and read it, if you do not - they will not.

Finally, a word of advice to Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic - next time she should venture west of Bulgaria. We would be very interested to read a report by her on the Axel Springer media empire in Germany. Or the one headed by billionaire Bernard Arnault in France, where it seems to be tradition for wives of ministers to sit on the boards of large media companies. We can provide her with other examples too.

It would be even more fascinating to hear her take on what countries in the world have media that are completely divorced from political and business interests. She should name those explicitly. Otherwise, the Mediapool people could once again see Delyan Peevski where he is not. They are probably even seeing him in their dreams as well. Poor things.

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