The main question is “Where was the EU in the media campaign for the European elections in Bulgaria?” And the answer to that question is that the EU was “completely absent”, according to Ralitza Kovacheva, a Sofia university media researcher who has made a detailed analysis of media coverage of the May 25 European Parliament elections for AEJ-Bulgaria.
That startling conclusion is supported by Ms Kovacheya’s detailed analysis. These are her major findings concerning the media coverage of the campaign leading up to the elections:-
- There were no face to face debates at all between the leaders of the main parties, nor between the leading candidates of the rival parties. On the main TV channels the leading candidates appeared mostly alone, and occasionally in pairs in paid-for political advertisements. A number of actual TV debates were held, but mainly they involved only representatives of the smaller parties and independent candidates.
- Hardly any clear and distinctive policy messages were articulated by candidates or political leaders on the subject of the activities of the EU and Bulgaria’s membership in it. All the key issues regarding the future of the EU and its future development remained unaddressed and unanswered.
- There was a marked absence of genuine analysis and commentary about issues and rival policies from either journalists or experts.
- As a consequence of the above there was, in effect, no real public debate on important European topics during the election campaign at all.
You can read the full text of the analysis in English here.