Monitoring of the media coverage on EU Directive 2019/1937 on protection of whistleblowers and respectively the way the general public is informed on its rights and opportunities the Directive offers for the citizens – short analyses of the media coverage and the way the Bulgarian citizens are being informed on the issue
The monitoring covers the period July 2021 – January 2022. The general impression is that the coverage of the Directive is moderate, and goes in six main segments:
1. Specialized coverage – mainly on Law offices web pages – 6
2. NGOs web pages – 5
3. Open government portals – 4
4. General and Specialized Media – 7
5. Business focus media – 4
6. Company sites – 1
7. Negative Coverage – 1
28 publications are registered for the analyzed period.
ANALYSES IN DETAILS
1. Specialized Law offices web pages
This is the largest segment of publications on the Directive. Most of the articles are a general overview, giving information on the Directive itself.
The general impression of these articles is that the main goal of the publications is to attract potential clients which need, or will need, a specialized judicial assistance/advice in the field. Most of the publications end with an invitation to contact the respective Law office in case of need or more questions.
Some of the articles are in English, and most probable directed to English speaking clients in/or outside Bulgaria.
Here are some examples:
2. NGO web pages
The articles in the NGO web pages are in three main directions – see A, B and C below. However their general goal is a common one – to raise in different ways the awareness of the Directive and the lack of responsive law in Bulgaria.
A. Analyses of the Directive
The analyses are mostly legal. The purpose is to raise the awareness of the Directive among the specialized business and legal audience.
https://www.bia-bg.com/news/view/29272/ – Union of the Bulgarian Business
B. Other NGOs like the Bulgarian branch of Transparency International published their own draft projects of law. TI-Bulgaria was one of the participants in the Working group under auspices of Ministry of Justice, which supposed to draft a law for whistleblower protection.
Information about EU Whistleblowing Monitior – https://transparency.bg/%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B6%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BE-%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%89%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%BE-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%B1%D0%BB%D1%8E%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B0-%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0/
C. Other NGOs like the Center for Study of Democracy published articles covering whistle blowing related events like the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection on November 19, 2021 in Sarajevo.
3. Open Government Portals
The open government portals cover partially the working period of the legislation, incl. publishing some of the related documents – for instance opinions within the Working Group. This helps mostly the specialized audience and experts to see the roles which all related parties play in the legislative process.
Open Government – https://www.strategy.bg/PublicConsultations/View.aspx?lang=bg-BG&Id=6354
4. General Media
Unfortunately the impression is that the Directive is still lesser known among the general audience due to relatively low media coverage – both in the general and specialized media.
Publications directed exclusively to the Directive
Publications which only mentioned the Directive
5. Business and other focused professional media:
6. Company sites:
There are very few publications in companies’ site, which according to the Directive have to assign an officer responsible for the whistleblowers’ signals.
7. Negative Publications
Unfortunately there are also publications speaking with a negative tone about the Directive. Fortunately they are very few. It may deserve a further research who stay behind such media –