Are you afraid of truth, dear Reporters?Editorial by Telegraph and Monitor , Sofia
To any journalist the matter of great import is to ask questions and seek answers to the issues which society sees as essential. However, this primary postulate of our profession for years has been disregarded by people who are touring the world under the guise of free speech activists.
The global organisation Reporters without Borders (RSF) hates answering questions. They do not like it when the community becomes aware of how their ill-famed rankings of press freedom are “produced” which for a long time now are meant to keep on a tight leash the “naughty”, i.e. those who ask questions.
On Tuesday, we witnessed the meeting between Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borissov, RSF Director General Christophe Deloire and Pauline Ades-Mevel, spokeswoman and head of EU and Balkan desk. After the meeting we asked them the most logical question that anyone would ask – how do they estimate the representativeness of their polls. Our question was not answered. The reporters chose to hide behind meaningless phrases such as that “the number of their respondents was off the record”. The same applies to how the respondents are picked.
It didn’t come as a surprise that there was no answer – to us there’s nothing new about it. For years now we, the editors-in-chief of the Telegraph Media group, have been seeking these answers from the RSF but to no avail. So far we have sent two official letters insisting on a meeting with the representatives of this organisation followed by a series of telephone calls to the RSF headquarters in Paris. During our business trips to France we even made attempts to get in touch with the organisation. To this day the contact has not been established.
Now we make one more attempt – addressing you from the pages of our editions which every day reach hundreds of thousands of readers. Dear Reporters, are you so much afraid of truth that it makes you hide from us? Why are you so reluctant to meet the representatives of the editorial boards of the most popular Bulgarian newspapers whose efforts are so highly appreciated by our readers? Why are you afraid of a meaningful professional dialogue focused on the de facto situation with freedom of speech in Bulgaria, media market and all other issues that raise both yours and ours concern?
The fact that you do not answer may mean only two things – either to you the journalists are only those who bow to the corporate interests of the indicted persons and keep silent when faced with the society or you have really sold yourself out, one way or another, to the dubious circles which for years have been trying to get control over the public space in Bulgaria?
How else could we explain the fact that you have never raised a question about the confessions of Ivo Prokopiev who himself admitted on air that he “controls the mainstream” in Bulgaria when he confirmed the veracity of the ARGOgate verbatim records. Or how could we interpret the fact that your representatives meet with not only the representatives of Economedia and its satellite editions but also with their bosses, who, each and all, are indicted or are in bad repute in the Bulgarian society. Neither can we explain you recurrent letters in defence of these same indicted oligarchs against the backdrop of your deafening silence in response to the fake news so detrimental for the entire society which their media outlets spew out.