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TUCoPS :: Cyber Culture :: bulgaria.htm

Post-communist developmens in the media in Bulgaria


Leigh Hall

Like most post-communist countries Bulgaria is presently in a painful transition time. The past, sheltered under the mighty USSR has vanished irretrievably and the future is uncertain: prosperity seems frustratingly out of reach for the majority of people. Most Bulgarians, like people everywhere, would prefer to be left alone by politicians and military leaders, to be allowed to just live in peace and look after their families. To ignore politics is luxury found only in long-stable countries. Those whose society is in flux are forced to sometimes make hard decisions about what kind of country they want to live in.

The name Bulgaria comes from the word Bulgar. The Bulgars were a nomadic central Asian people who in the seventh century conquered (and were subsequently absorbed by) the resident Slavs in what is now present-day Bulgaria. Bulgaria was later subjugated once again to Turks for nearly 500 years under the Ottoman Empire, but Bulgarians always maintained a very separate national identity. Their Slavic language and Orthodox Christian faith were distinctly different from Turkic speech or the Islamic religion (1). Bulgarian philosophical orientation was always European, although the years under Ottoman rule separa~ed them from European development. Iskra Baeva has suggested that because the West Slavs adopted CathoIicism and feudalism, that these institutions promoted the growth of a local aristocracy at the expense of central state power. Whereas East Slavs, manning the border between Europe and Asia, were frequently invaded by Mongols, Tartars, and Turks. Baeva daims that this constant threat from the outside caused a forced centralization of power in East Slavic political systems, limiting their understanding of the freedom of individual consciousness. This centralization would in modem times work to their disadvantage. In 1989 Bulgaria still had no organized dissidence or tradition of developed civil

thought to help fill the vacuum caused by the world collapse of (Soviet-backed) Communism (2). Like most changes in Bulgarian society the revolution was to some extent imposed from above, by political elites eager to retain power within a new social framework.

Bulgarians did have some democratic tradition to fall back on. The first Bulgarian constitution, written in the city of Turnovo in 1879, was based on the ideals of the French Revolution. It protected the freedom of speech, assembly, and the press. The main points of this constitution were very enlightened, and it represented good intentions on the part of its framers, even if the laws were not always adhered to. This constitution stood (with one or two interruptions) until the Communist takeover in 1947(3). Bulgarian ties with Russia (both tsarist and Soviet) were always extremely close, but by the 1980's the regime of Todor Zhivkov was paying less attention to the changes taking place in Russia, than its own domestic agenda. The forced Bulgarization of minority Turks finally erupted into bloody battles, as the Communist Party attempted to deny the existence of non-Bulgarians in their country. This was at about the same time when Gorbachev's new openness policy in Russia reached its height. Zhivkov could not possibly have carried out his Bulgarization policies (which forced Bulgaria into an isolated position politically) had he been directly under Gorbachev's influence (4). Of course in the 1980's there was still an unrestricted flow of printed media and television from Mother Russia, but by then it was no longer limited to

the predictable old Marxist/Leninist preaching. Bulgaria's first taste of glasnost came from the USSR and was eagerly received by the populace, but Bulgaria's old guard leaders stood firmly against it (5).

The sweeping events of 1989 ousted the Zhivkov governrnent but not the Communists/Socialists who retained power even after the first multi-party elections in June of 1990. The umbrella reformist group UDF finally won a narrow Parliamentary majority in October of 1991. But a year later, when the Turkish MRF party (with 24 seats) decided to switch their allegiance from the UDF to the socialist party, the new reformist government lost a Parliamentary vote of no-confidence. The socialists formed a new cabinet in January of 1993 and rehired many old Communists (6). A month later the UDF basically comrnitted political suicide by expelling seven of its own Parliamentary representatives for allegedly being too supportive of the new government. This rash action prompted another eleven UDF representatives to resign in protest, thus giving the BSP a comfortable majority in the Parliament (7). For the past year and a half the situation in Bulgaria seems to be that of a polarized Parliarnent operating under a president and a prime rninister who have different agendas and publicly distrust one another. New elections may have to be called as early as September (8).

It is not at all surprising that Communists could not qulckly voted` out of public life in Bulgaria. Under Todor Zhivkov the ratio of actual Comrnunist Party members to the general population was almost 13%. This was a higher percentage than could be found even in the USSR at that time (9). The Xinhua Ne,vs Agency (presumably Comrnunist Chinese and perhaps not necessarily totally objective) carried a story this year about tens of thousands of Bulgarians rallying for an impromptu, unofficial May Day celebration in Sofia (10). If this is true, then certainly there seems to be a residual nostalgia for the glory days of Cornmunism. The BSP may milk this emotion for political support, but even they could not recreate the pre-1989 style of government if that was the* goal. Political pluralism and private enterprise seem firmly established. The BSP's top priority is limited to the protection of struggling state industries and slowing of privatization (11).

The communist system did at least offer the security of COMECON markets where one could buy and sell without hard currency. That was a very different situation than today's global market, which is more open and competitive than ever before. Since the Bulgarian economy is not yet up to EC standards for membership, Bulgaria has joined the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone to find open markets. The Black Sea free-trade zone was established in 1992 after the collapse ofthe USSR to recreate trade contacts between the region's market economies (Turkey and Greece) and the former communist economies (Russia, Ul~aine, Romaoia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Bulgaria). Together they have established a trade and development bank (based on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in order to finance badly needed infrastructure in these countries such as energy production and telecommunications (12).

Modern telecommunications is a key element in t ansforming Bulgarian society and media. The European Development Bank is currently financing the construction of a $29 million fiber optic telephone cable which will stretch under the Black Sea from Romania to Turkey by way of Bulgaria. More than twenty leading international tdecommunications companies (including AT&T, MCL British Telecom, Deutsche Bundespost, and Swiss Telecom) have requested to be allowed to buy a 70% stake in the cable (13). Reliable phone service is one of the most basic requirements to run an efficient modern business. According to a poll conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), Bulgaria has one of the worst phone services in the world, with 3/4 of all calls made there failing to go through (14). Sprint Corp. has a joint venture with the state-owned telecommunications monopoly to help provide computer and phone services (15). Siemens has been awarded a contract to supply 80,000 digital phone lines in Sofia and Varna (16). UK-based Cable & Wireless opened a cellular phone franchise, holding a 49% stake in it. The cellular network covers Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna? and Burgas and should cover up to 95% of the country by 1998. After two years the management of the franchise will revert to the Bulgarians. C&W claim they plan to stay in Bulgaria long term and to invest locally all profits made there for the first three or four years (17). The EU in March also began a telecommunications training program there to instruct Bulgarians about types of governmental regulations, managing a telecommunications company, marketing, sales, and new technology (18).

Some computer companies have opened local offices. Compaq has 38 dealers in Bulgaria and helped to computerize the Bulgarian National Parliament (19). The US Library of Congress and a House task force also provided technical support on that project (20). Intel GmbH has opened offices in Eastern Europe and sells in Bulgaria (21). McGraw-Hill last month announced plans to publish a Bulgarian language edition of the computer magazine BYTE (to appear in October). McGraw-Hill claimed their decision was based on the fact that Bulgaria was the primaly center for development and production of computers to the former USSR Bulgarian language editions of Apple News and Computer News are already in publication (22). David Worlock, head of the European Information Industry Association, claimed last December that Bulgaria already had one of the best developed, networked information services in Europe (23).

Many academics and journalists in the West rely on the Internet to receive and spread information farther and more quickly than was ever before possible. The Internet Society recently held a hands-on workshop in Prague for Eastern European students. Financier and philanthropist George Soros paid for many individuals to take part. Mr. Soros has also used his money to support Internet links in Bulgaria, claiming that this kind of computer networking can help break down barriers within (as well as between) countries (24).

MCI has also sponsored Bulgarian librarians working in the field of environmental studies to go to the Prague conference . These librarians are part of a special project created to share scientific and management information through an Internet directory service call the EcoDirectory. This is aimed at helping environmentalists from former East Bloc countries get the up-to-date information they need to begin to plan how to repair the complex environmental problems left by decades of political and industrial mismanagement (25).

Of course, use of the Internet requires literacy in English (or at the very least an acquaintance with the Latin alphabet) and the use of mostly American software. Thus it is hardly a waste of time for US technology firms to promote it. Although it is unquestionably to the advantage of relatively isolated people to learn to communicate with the world outside of them, it should be kept in mind that the probable motivation of American businesses in Eastern Europe is to develop consumer markets there for American products. This may be fine and well but their teachings therefore may not always be objective and geared toward the real information needs of their eager East European students.

Even if one assumes improved access to advanced technology, another problem Bulgarian journalists have is that of credibility with discerning readers (viewers, or listeners). Those reporters who staff the new, independent press are frequently former political activists from before the revolution, and although enthusiastic, lack professional training. Not uncommonly they fail to understand the distinction between their former role and their current one. So eager are they to publish the "truth" of their society, that they print stories which are collaborated, highly slanted, or published anonymously (26). Journalists who work for the old state-run radio and TV

have the same credibility problems they have always had: no one trusts the mouthpiece of the government.

Bulgarian journalists are beginning to understand the gravity of this problem. The Balkan Press Center has been established (with some European funding) to promote professional behavior and has held seminars on democracy and media, and chauvinism and media (27). The Bulgarian Parliament has asked the Association of European Journalists to help draw up some guidelines on objectivity (28). The USIA and VOA are supporting professional journalism training in Sofia (29). The two year old American University in Blagoevgrad was established to fill the perceived need for advanced study in new subjects like business management, sales, computer science, law, and Western-style objective journalism (30). The Journalism school at Sofia University has unfortunately shown no change in curriculum or focus since communist time (31). The American-based Freedom Forum has also opened a reference news library in Blagoevgrad to give Bulgarian journalists access to up-to-date information, reference works, and CD-ROM databases (32).

With more mass access to current global information, there can be no question of any meaningful political censorship. And especially now with anti-censorship laws on the books Bulgarians can read, watch, or listen to anything they like, as long as they can afford it. Of course for every nouveau riche entrepreneur with a satellite dish in his backyard and a shiny new computer in the den, there are hundreds of lesser mortals out in the provinces who still have access only to state-run radio, TV, and some highly opinionated, sensationalist newspapers. The free market is a bumpy ride for most Bulgarian media attempting self-financing for the first time, and naturally some are more successful than others.

Of the news media, newspapers experienced the most dramatic unshackling in 1989. But as the costs of paper and printing quickly went up newspapers tended to spring up and shut down almost overnight. Also, as elections and political speeches lost their novelty, interest in them (inevitably?) waned and even the (better financed) party newspapers' circulations have declined. Tabloids such as 24 Chassa have done very well (33). Business weeklies apparently are profitable. The Swiss publisher Ringier has begun publishing one (34) and Reuters has also signed an investment agreement with another, Capital Press (35).

Most television and radio transmitters are still owned by the government and private licensing requirements are complex. Six fully commercial radio stations do now operate in Sofia and 41 radio licenses have been awarded throughout the country (36). Britain's GWR Group Plc bought 30% of the radio station FM Plus earlier this year (37), and a private Turkish language TV station has been granted a permit, but it is not yet operational in Turkish. A Greek company, Antenna TV, is negotiating to be allowed to broadcast into Bulgaria (38). Since 1990 a private French channel has beamed into Sofia and many Bulgarians can still receive regular Russian, Greek, or Yugoslav channels (depending of course on where they live) (39).

The continued lack of established media laws further slows the process of granting permits. It is also possible that the Bulgarian Parliament is dragging its feet deliberately, unwilling to relinquish hold of government-owned media outlets. The 1991 Constitution entrusted media supervision to the Parliament until appropriate laws could be written. The Parliamentary Commission in charge of this has been very slow in formulating these laws, claiming to be studying a variety of examples of media law from all over Europe (40). In the meantime the staff of Radio Sofia has remained unchanged from pre-1989, while the staff (and political ideology) at Bulgarian Television changes frequently, depending on who is in power (41).

One European convention the Parliament was quick to adopt was the idea of the Value Added Tax. The Bulgarian version of this, which went into effect April 1st, does not exempt newspapers, magazines, books, advertising, ink, printing services, or films from its 18% rate. The impending VAT prompted a four day general strike by Bulgaria's leading newspapers and private radio stations. In sympathy with the strikers Sofia's theaters showed only pornographic movies. Sofia Films claims the high tax rate will drive Hollywood and family films from the screen since the Bulgarian lev (to buy tickets) is declining and energy prices (to run the cinemas) are going up (42). The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, and the Association of Private Radio Stations are demanding exemptions from the VAT. Commercials and advertising which are obviously a source of major funding for private media will be heavily hit by VAT. Eighteen percent is higher than the press rate of VAT for any other European country (43).

It is significant to note that the state-funded radio and television stations, which presumably will not be affected, did not strike. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that since VAT will harm the consumption of private media, that this new tax was a government strategy to support the dominance of its own stations. However, given the Bulgarian budget deficit of 14.7% GDP (1993 figures not available) (44), perhaps one should not be too quick to assume that a high VAT rate is a blatant attempt by the Parliament to muzzle private media. This might be a factor, but probably it is also the understandable desire to raise federal revenues during a difficult financial time.

Aside from the usual financial woes, minority printed media in Bulgaria has experienced a dramatic reversal of fortunes from the bad old days of the 1980's. The Communist government was especially hard on the highly visible Turks, and among other violent abuses, closed down their schools and newspapers, causing many Bulgarian Turks to flee into Turkey (45). Today Turkish and other foreign language papers (published abroad or domestically) circulate freely (46).

This is no doubt helped by the fact that for the first time in years the political relationship between Bulgaria and Turkey is very good. Bulgarian President Zhelu Zhelev claims that minority Turks can now take part in national government and bear responsibility for it. There is also free movement of people across the Bulgarian-Turkish border (47). Turkish President Suleyman Demirel also claims to no longer have any special concerns about the Turkish minority in Bulgaria. He adds that the improved trade between the two countries will benefit all citizens, minorities included (48). Much of this goodwill undoubtedly comes from the desire that the new

Black Sea Economic Zone develop smoothly-and receive the maximum foreign investment.

The Bulgarian Turks themselves still seem to have some complaints about their situation. In March of 1993 the MRF made a demand for at least 12 hours of Turkish language TV programming per day on state-run TV (49). Less than two months later the BBC carried a story about illegal transmitters and relay facilities operating in southeastern Bulgaria. These transmitters were broadcasting Turkish satellite programs on the same frequency as Bulgarian National Television (which had yet to provide for any Turkish programs). This was in clear violation of the law, but apparently the money to set up the transmitters had been raised by the mayors of several predominately Turkish towns in this area (50). A license was finally granted for a privately run Turkish language channel but that is as far as it has gotten. It has been suggested that by allowing for a privately funded Turkish station, the Bulgarian government is neatly avoiding having to accede to MRF demands to provide a separate state-run channel (51). In August of 1993 Bulgarian state radio did finally begin some Turkish language broadcasts (52).

Bulgaria's Gypsies have not fared as well as her Turks. There is no political party to publicize Gypsy grievances, and none can be established due to a constitutional ban on parties based on ethnicity or religion. There exist two national Gypsy organizations, the Confederation of Roma in Bulgaria, formed in May of 1993, and the Associated Roma Union, founded in October of 1992. Without parliamentary representation it is of course far more difficult to legislate Gypsy rights. But some reforms have been put into place. Romani dialects are now taught in some elementary schools, and the Bulgarian government has announced plans to try to recruit Gypsies into the police force (53). Unfortunately the police are still very frequently accused of harassment and beating of Gypsies (54), so Gypsy police would be a step in the right direction. The US Department of State reported last year that the housing allotted to Gypsies was very poor (frequently without water, electricity, or sewers), that Gypsy clubs and neighborhoods are frequently attacked, that Gypsies are denied standard Bulgarian social benefits, and that the media attributes crime to Gypsies without proof (55). The Roma Union claims that Gypsies are not politically represented and in fact are manipulated by non-Gypsy political parties and the media (56). The Consolidated Romani Union in May announced that it was withdrawing its support from the party because of disappointment with their unfulfilled promises. They claim they will now back the far more conservative Bulgarian Socialist Party (57).

Although much of the Bulgarian media is still dependent on state or party funding, blatant censorship does not seem to be a problem. Foreign government-sponsored radio programs such as the BBC and VOA now have unrestricted access to commercial radio frequencies. And even though Bulgarian Television is still state-controlled, Bulgarian opinion polls rate TV as the most credible news source (58) That interesting fact could be a comment on the polarized political views of the press media, but they also at least can operate with governmental interference. Two years ago the UDF daily Demokratzia published a top secret report dated Aug. 20 1968, and concerning the deployment of 1,800 troops into Czechoslovakia (59). Of course this might have just been an attempt by the UDF to embarrass the former Communists. But it was an open discussion of a sensitive topic and must have caused the Bulgarian people some pain and embarrassment. Regardless of the awkwardness caused, this is one of the functions of a free press, to occasionally act as a nation's conscience, showing them the truth when many would prefer to pretend as if it never happened.

This acceptance of journalistic honesty certainly could not be found under Todor Zhivkov's reign. There was a famous incident in London in 1978, concerning a Bulgarian emigre who was working there as a broadcaster for the BBC World Service. Georgi Markov had fled Bulgaria nine years before and was broadcasting anti-Communist propaganda from London back into his homeland. He was murdered on Waterloo Bridge by a jab from a poisoned umbrella, apparently wielded by a Bulgarian assassin sent by Zhivkov himself (60). This is admittedly an extreme example of Bulgarian state censorship, not widely practiced.

The new laws on censorship are just one example of Bulgaria's post-communist legal code. The current Bulgarian constitution was adopted in July of 1991 by the (BSP-dominated) National Assembly. At that time some of the UDF representatives who wanted more far-reaching legal changes codified, protested by going on a ten day hunger strike. They wanted stronger laws protecting human rights and routing Communism (61). The constitutional clause mentioned earlier, prohibiting the establishment of ethnic or religious political parties, is a controversial one. CSCE countries (including the US) and Western human rights groups point out that ethnic minorities are frequently discriminated against, and that this is a difficult situation to rectify without organized political representation. The Bulgarian government counters this argument with their not-unrealistic fear of a potentially explosive division of their country along racial tines. The breakup of neighbor Yugoslavia from these tensions has certainly not gone unnoticed in Sofia. It is hard to say whether minimizing the injustices suffered by minorities is in the long term more stabilizing, than allowing attention to be focussed on these complaints, which might lead to demands for more and more autonomy. The UDF party has pledged to try to amend this constitutional clause but it will require a two-thirds parliamentary majority (which they do not have)(62).

Last March the representatives of the American-based Central and East European Law Initiative traveled to Bulgaria to help them review their new constitution, especially in technical (and new) areas such as intellectual property laws, commercial law, and bankruptcy (63). Only two weeks ago a new Western-style copyright law finally took force. A special Department of Intellectual Property will be created under the Ministry of Culture, and stiffer fines demanded for infringements. Unfortunately these fines are still very low when compared to the potential profit (64).

Pirated Hollywood blockbusters are popular and immensely profitable After years of being offered nothing but Bulgarian- (and Russian-) made films, people are naturally now eager to immerse themselves in racier American movies. Action and science fiction are particularly well- received and there are no restrictions or regulations about the amount of graphic violence that may be seen on screen (65). Since the U.S.A. produces a plethora of violent action films (with gratuitous nudity), US imports would seem ideally suited to this growing Bulgarian market. It is hard to say when, or if, Bulgarians will become jaded with this coarse fare and begin to pay money to see more artistic or thought-provoking films. Right now of course the novelty value is strong, but the educational level of the average Bulgarian is fairly high and he might not be satisfied with action movies for very long. Taste varies from culture to culture, as well. The Japanese are a very culturally and industrially advanced culture, but their films and reading material are commonly very violent and sexual.

In any event, the new Bulgarian copyright law might put a dent in the local cinemas' booming business in American film. Over half of what they now show are pirated film copies. There are claims that some US films are distributed illegally in Bulgaria long before they open in the States (66). There is, unfortunately, a long and respected tradition of samizdat in formerly communist countries. This dates back to times when Western or subversive books and films had to be copied and circulated secretly. Today there is the barrier of high price instead of censorship.

In contrast, the Bulgarian domestic film industry has also completely collapsed. Suddenly in 1989 there was no more state money earmarked for them. The Bulgarian film industry, like the computer industry, had been accustomed to enjoying a great deal of investment and attention under communism. Todor Zhivov's daughter had personally been in charge of developing Bulgarian film through the Ministry of Culture, and if the film had a socialist propaganda value its makers lacked for nothing. The state-owned Boyana Studios are equipped with modern lighting and cameras, and a few years ago employed 1,600 people. Boyana has Europe's most extensive stocks of wardrobe and props. There sit "80,000 period costumes and workshops capable of producing everything from prehistoric reptiles to replicas of medieval armor," (67) all now mostly unused. After 1989 state funding plummeted to almost nothing, but the Bulgarian low production costs have lured some foreigners to film in Sofia. US-Bulgarian shooting of "Bird of Prey" began last May for 3.5 million dollars (68). A comedy film festival is held in the city of Gabrovo (69), and Varna hosts the "First International Film Festival" (70).

At the moment Bulgarians seem eager for contact with the West and desirous of modeling certain facets of their society on it, such as the legal system. Whether these positive emotions can be sustained through a painful restructuring of society (which most likely will displace a number of people) cannot be known for sure at this time. No two countries develop in exactly the same direction or at the same rate, so it is impossible to predict with certainty Bulgaria's future. The "benefactors" in the West who are eager to reshape her thinking and economic structure to be more like theirs, have, of course, their own agendas. This is not necessarily ominous, but something for Bulgarians to understand and keep in mind. Tabloids and action films can be found in every country, certainly America cannot be judgmental in this area. Their popularity is high and there is the danger that people will not be able to tell the difference between what is enlightening and valuable, versus what is not to be taken seriously. Many Western European countries also consider their news media to be free of censorship even when much of it is nominally state controlled. The difference of course is what forms that control takes, and also whether the citizens see their government as something stable and trustworthy, or something to be feared and battled. An uncomfortable gap between rich and poor will probably also develop in Bulgaria. This will be especially painful because the extent of the gap will be new. Probably only the next generation will be able to look back and clearly see where the mistakes were made in the transformation to a market economy and democratic system of government. Some isolated but encouraging examples of success have been found in the more Western former communist societies, but there is still no magic formula that can be followed to assure a painless, straightforward transition and quick prosperity for all.


1. "Bulgaria," UTCAT Encyclopedia.

2. Baeva, Iskra "Eastern Europe: PAst and Present" Bulgarian Quarterlv 1.3 (1991): 36-

3. Gruncharov, Stopicho "Bulgarian Bourgeois Democracy," Bulgarian Ouarterly 1.3 (1991): 10-12

4. Tsenkov, Emile, "The Geopolitical Dilemmas of a Former Satellite," Bulgarian Ouarterlv 1.3 (1991) 57-8.

5. Varzonovtsev, Dimitrii, "The Collisions of Self-Identification," Bulgarian Ouarterly 2.3- 4(1992):179.

6. McKinsey, Kitty, "Bulgaria," The Ottawa Citizen 28 Oct. 1993.

7. Semerdjieva, Liliana, "Bulgarian Ex-Communists Again Dominate Parliament," Reuters Library Report 21 Feb. 1993.

8. "Bulgaria's UDF Rallies," Reuters World Service 5 April 1994.

9. McKinsey, "Bulgaria".

10. "Tens Thousands Bulgarians Rally for May Day," Xinhua News Agency I May 1994.

11. Fletcher, Philippa, "Bulgarian Communists Weigh Up Bid for Power," Reuters World Service 2 June 1994.

12. Dorsey, James M. "Black Sea Bloc in Transit to Free Trade," Chicago Tribune 1 Aug. 1993.

13. "BT, 20 Others Bid for 70 Pct Stake in-Bulgarian Cable Link," Exetel Examiner 14 June 1994

14. Semerdjieva, Liliana,"C & W to build Bulgaria Mobile Phone Network" Reuters 8 Oct. 1992

15. "Business in Brief," Atlanta Journal and Constitution 18 March 1993: D3. 1993.

16. "Siemens to Modernize Bulgarian Telephone Network," European Information Service Euro Report 5 May 1993, sec. 6.

17. "Cable & Wireless Plans Long Term Investment in Bulgaria," Reuters. Ltd. 18 March

18. "EU to Help Modernize East European Telephone System," European Information Service Euro-East 29 March 1994, sec. 20.

19. "Compaq Business Grows Threefold in Eastern Europe," PR Newswire 4 Aug. 1992.

20. "Uncle Sam Helps Eastern Europe's Fledgling Democracies Come to Terms with Automation of New Government Systems," Government Computer News 12.13 (1993): 10.

21. Ratajczyk, Andrzej, "On the Inside Track," The Warsaw Voice 13 March 1994.

22. "BYTE Magazine to be Published in Bulgarian Language Edition," Business Wire 11 July 1994.

23. "Europe's Digital Landscape," InformationWeek 6 Dec. 1993: 68.

24. Judge, Peter, "Superhighway Robbery?: Life at the Thin End of the Net," The Guardian 7 July 1994.

25. "MCI Sponsorship of East European Librarians Opens Door to Global Internet Information Exchange," PR Newswire 7 June 1994, sec. Financial News.

26. Engelbrekt, Kjell, "Bulgaria," RFE/RL Research Report 39 (1992): 32.

27. Kovic Branko, Milin ,"Greece: Balkan Crisis Forges Journalistic Cooperation," Interpress Service 21 Sept. 1993.

28. D'Arcy, Kevin, secretary of the British Assn. of European Journalists, "Designs on the

Press," The Guardian 9 Aug. 1993: 18.

29. Hestor, Al, Reybold, L. Earle, and Conger, Kimberly, Eds., The Post-Communist Press in East and Central Europe: New Studies (Athens: Univ. of Georgia, 1992).

30. Woodard, Colin, "American University in Bulgaria Finding a Niche," Los Angeles Times 12 Dec. 1993.

31. Hester, Post-Communist Press.

32. "Freedom Forum Launches New European Programs," Business Wire 20 May 1993.

33. Dainov, Evgenii, president of the Bulgarian Publishers Assn., "Losing Readers in Bulgaria," The Warsaw Voice 8 Aug. 1993.

34. Lynn, Jonathon, "Western Media Test East European Market," Reuters World Service 15 May 1994.

35. "Reuters Invests in Bulgarian Business Weekly," The Reuter European Business Report 19 May 1994.

36. Kapudaliev, Emil, secretary of the Parliamentary Commission on Radio and TV of the

National Assembly of Bulgaria, statement, March 1994.

37. Lynn,"Western Media".

38. Clark, Jennifer, and Pappas, Peter, "Television Market Braces for Expansion," Variety 8 Nov. 1993: 35.

39. Davis, Howard, "Media Change and Democratization," Hungarian Sociological Assn. Annual Convention 7-10 July. 1993 Miskolc, Hungary: Univ. of Miskolc, 1993).

40. Kapudaliev.

41. Davis, "Media Change".

42. Fletcher, Philippa , "Sofia Cinemas Hold Porn Protest Against VAT," Reuters World Service 31 March 1994.

43. "Ministers and Officials Comment on Media Protest Against VAT," British Broadcasting Corp. 31 March 1994.

44. Miurin, Paolo, and Sommariva, Andrea, "Financial and Technological Assistance to Central and Eastern Europe," The Washington Quarterly 17.3 (1994): 91.

45. "Bulgarian Moslems Have Equal Rights-Arab League," Reuters World Service 17 June 1994.

46. US Dept. of State dispatch, Bulgarian Human Rights Practices. 1993 (Feb. 1994).

47. "Zhelev Interviewed on Eve of Visit to Turkey," British Broadcasting Corp. 6 July 1994.

48. "Demirel Interviewed on Relations with Bulgaria in Advance of Zhelev's Visit," British Broadcasting Corp. 22 June 1994. -

49. "Committee for Rights and Freedoms of Nationalities Set Up in Kurdzhali," British Broadcasting Corp. 6 April 1993.

50. "Illegal Relays of Turkish Satellite TV Interfering with Bulgarian TV" British Broadcasting Corp. 11 May 1993.

51. Iordanova, Dina, "Restructuring of Bulgarian TV within the Current Political Context".

52. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Human Rights and Democratization in Bulgaria (Washington, DC, Sept. 1993) p. 12.

53. Ibid., p. 14.

54. Dept. of State, Bulgarian Human Rights.

55. Ibid.

56. "Gypsy Union Protests Against Discrimination and Violations of Human Rights," British Broadcasting Corp. 25 June 1993.

57. "Gypsy Leader Switches Support From MRF to BSP," British Broadcasting Corp. 5 May 1994.

58. Dept. of State, Bulgarian Human Rights.

59. "Bulgarian Ex-Army Commanders Speak of 1968 Invasion as Investigation Launched," British Broadcasting Service 25 Aug. 1993.

60. Gliniecki, Andrew, "Former KGB Man Questioned Over Markov Killing," The Independent 1 Nov. 1993: 1.

61. US Dept. of State dispatch, Implementation of the Helsinki Final Act (Sept. 1992) vol. 3, no. SUP6-7, p. S1.

62. Ibid.

63. Andrews, James H. ,'Helping Law Come in From the Cold," Christian Science Monitor 21 March 1994.

64. Chendov, Chavdar, "Bulgaria Gets C'Right Law," Billboard 24 July 1993.

65. Welkes, Robert W., "Almost Hollywood," Los Angeles Times 3 March 1994: Fl.

66. Semerdjieva, Liliana. "Bulgarian Distributors to Battle Video Piracy," Reuter European Business Report 25 Oct. 1993.

67. Williams, Carol J., "Bulgaria's Cinema Struggles Toward a Comeback," Los Angeles Times 15 March 1-994.

68. Honeycutt, Kirk," 'Prey' a US-Bulgarian co-prod," The Hollywood Reporter 15 March 1994

69. Gilbert, Richard. "Film,N New York Times 27 March 1994, sec. 2: 29.

70. "Czech Films Take Part in Seventy Festivals," CTK National News Wire 29 Dec. 1993.

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