These days I had to give an interview to the Bulgarian media. They had decided to reflect one of the projects of the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development. And it started again with the stipulations: “Please do not mention the name of the donor.” Okay I will not! But it has been like that for many years. And why?
Because the Bulgarian society, like any post-communist society, which adopted the market economy as a form of organization of its economic life, developed deviations characteristic of it. Such is the one about which the incident described above provoked me to write. It is developed by native media. And it may be manifested only in Varna. But… hardly.
I remember that in the first years of the transition this was not the case, but after European money came in to finance projects, a tendency quickly formed in the media to publish information about one or another initiative of public organizations, without mentioning the donor ( the financial source). The presumption “If you’ve taken money for it, you’ll pay, to us it’s advertising.” This sounds particularly absurd even today from the mouths of the public media. In a conversation with the journalists, they shared that this was a decision of their controlling CEM (Council for Electronic Media). The media would be fined if they allowed the mention of trademarks without taking money for it. Is it so – I don’t know, I trust the journalists who share. It ended up being that if you had a donor-sponsored charity event, you had to pay if you wanted media coverage. This is a fact. There is no need, according to the rules of journalism, to cross-check him from several sources – I live it.
Then social networks “stirred up the hive”. As project contractors stopped actively seeking them, the conditions took on other dimensions. They will cover the event for you, but if the donation comes from corporate circles, they warn you not to mention the name of the donor or they cut it in the editing (during the editing). It is not even taken into account that large companies implement their social programs through specially created tools, such as “VIVACOM Fund”, “You and Lidl for a better life” and a number of others. If you want the company’s logo to be seen or mentioned in the report – pay.
Why do I think this is a problem? I agree that if you go to the media and want to announce the project funded by company “X”, that is advertising for the company. In my opinion, it would be different if the media were allowed to mention the names of the companies’ initiatives. Then more companies will recognize such an opportunity to present their image to the public. This, in turn, would encourage more companies to develop assistance programs. On the other hand, it would mean more funds invested in public initiatives. And this would lead to a more developed society in both cultural, social and ecological aspects. And the media, like any other business, can exercise its corporate social responsibility by withdrawing its desire to make financial gains from everything.