Balkanleaks.eu is a whistleblowing Web site modeled on WikiLeaks, and formed to "promote transparency and fight the nexus of organized crime and political corruption in the Balkan states." The site solicits "confidential documents related to political, criminal or financial topics, by offering a manner of collection that is secure and anonymous." Bivol.bg is a Web site devoted to investigative journalism.
In a climate where only three years ago, the editor in chief of a Bulgarian online news provider was severely beaten following several attacks on journalists the same year, both balkanleaks.eu and Bivol.bg have been instrumental in exposing corruption and the abuse of power by organized crime and politicians. You can read some of Bivol's coverage here at WL Central and also here in Bulgarian and Macedonian.
May 3, Global Press Freedom Day
Bulgaria’s ranking in freedom of press, published by Freedom House on the eve of May 3, the global press freedom day, is slipping down once again. Even though the country went down by just one spot, compared to last year, the trend that began in 2005 is continuing. A trend which can be noticed in the rankings of another large human rights organization “Reporters without Borders.”
The reasons for this trend are complex and have been analyzed in detail in the report on Bulgaria of Reporters without Borders, published in February 2009. It stresses on “power reflexes,” inherited by the totalitarian pass; economic pressure on journalists; murky ownership of large media and the role of the shady groups, striking terror of physical retribution with the non-conformists.
Several months later, in the eve of the general elections, American Ambassador Nancy McEldowney sends a classified report to the State Department, focused on Bulgarian media [09SOFIA304], where the diagnosis is harsh and the language far away from diplomatic: venality, corruption, political servitude, paid for with dirty money from the gray economy.