SINCE POLITICAL FREEDOM WAS ESTABlished and censorship was abolished following the beginning of reforms in 1989, Bulgaria's media have diversified in terms of both political affiliation and special-interests coverage. The advent of high-quality tabloid journalism, such as that practiced by the daily 24 chasa,
is perhaps the single most notable development. But while the press is free, it is not truly independent. Freedom and liberalization mean that media are not restricted by the state, but at the same time they must face the sometimes harsh realities of a market economy. And while Bulgaria has not made much progress with privatization, the media market is one of the sectors where there is competition.