Media Discourse Concerning Minorities in Bulgaria
The media representation of minorities is always a problematic issue. The majority groups generally have a voice in media, while minority groups are excluded. Apart from representation, discourse is also an important issue, because discourse can maintain ideas that support discriminatory actions. In this study the discourses of news that covered minority groups in Bulgaria will be analysed. Although Bulgaria had become an EU member in 2007, it was excluded from the 2004 enlargement because it would not have been able to meet the EU conditions. And one of the main problem was Roman minorities. Although the largest minority group; Turks seem well integrated, this was not the case with the Roman minority. In 2003 Bulgaria adopted an Action Plan for the implementation of the Framework Program which included the anti-discrimination policy. In the same year the Parliament adopted the Protection Against Discrimination Act which guarantees equality of all individuals. But there was not any policy regarding the Roma minorities integration to the society. Therefore the EU Commission declared that “Since the last Regular Report, the situation of the Roman minority has barely improved… ” EU Commission shamed Bulgarian authorities in the international and domestic media with coverage of the regular monitoring reports. Finally in 2006 EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2006 said that Bulgaria had made significant progress in promoting respect for human rights and Bulgaria became an EU member in 2007. However, did Bulgaria also improve its policies regarding the representation of minorities in media and what can we say about the media discourse towards minorities today? Do the minorities treated equally by media today? How news cover minorities? What do discourse tell us about prejudices, ideologies about minorities? These questions will be answered within this study.
Index Terms- Bulgaria, discourse, EU, human rights, minorities.