Journalism in Bulgaria has come under the spotlight after a collective of 85 journalists submitted a petition to the Chairman of the National Assembly, Rosen Zhelyazkov, demanding improvements to their working environment in the Bulgarian parliament. The parliament has been convening in the former Party House building for over three months, and journalists have been grappling with inadequate workspace, inconsistent internet coverage, and substandard conditions for photography, among other issues.
Suboptimal Conditions Hampering Professional Journalism
The journalists' petition highlights a series of obstacles that they face in their day-to-day reporting, including restricted access to informal conversations with national representatives. They claim that the existing setup only allows for recording statements outside the hall and mediated communication with public relations units, which significantly compromises their ability to preserve the confidentiality of sources.
Journalists Call for Better Infrastructure
Among their demands, the journalists are requesting the establishment of designated workspaces and the provision of stable internet coverage. They also stress the importance of improved conditions for photographers, including the reopening of corridors for journalists without the right to record video and audio content or take photographs.
Parliament Shift: A Recurring Issue
The petition follows the National Assembly's move back to the former Party House in September, due to the need for serious renovations at the building at Narodno Sabranie Square. This is the second time the assembly has moved to the former Party House; the previous occasion was during the protests against the third Borisov government and Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev in 2020. During that period, media conditions were significantly worse, and access to representatives was almost entirely restricted.