Premiere of the Black Book of Government Waste 2020
The "Black Book of Government Waste" has been published for a sixth consecutive year!
The 2020 edition of the Black Book of Government Waste in Bulgaria features 15 cases of inefficient spending of taxpayers’ money. The premiere of the Black Book happened on 14th January with a top-notch virtual show, with great reach on social media.
Black Book Novelties
FNF invited this year the economist Georgi Ganev from the Center for Liberal Strategies to evaluate every case and propose alternatives how the government could spend more efficiently the money of the Bulgarian and respectively the European taxpayers.
Following up on feedback over time from the audience of the Black Book, FNF has introduced a series of update stories, monitoring the progress achieved since the publishing of the respective investigative cases from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. We published continuations of stories from previous years for 5 cases in the hard copy of 2020 edition and a series of 9 videos. Stay tuned soon for the publication of short films with English subtitles.
We have upgraded our digital presence by launching a new website chernakniga.bg, where one could download the latest issue of the Black Book, find out more about the authors, a team of investigative journalists, and follow the continuation of previously published stories. Citizens now could send also signals via the home page of the Black Book about the misuse of Bulgarian or European taxpayers’ money.
Black Book Premiere
On 14th January 2021 due to the anti-pandemic measures we presented the Black Book of Government Waste 2020 in a top-notch show, livestreamed on social media from a virtual studio. Find out below some of the behind the scenes magic.
Martin Kothé, FNF Project Director for Bulgaria, and Petya Dyulgerova, FNF Project Coordinator, reiterated the importance and goals of the Black Book of Government Waste to invite Bulgarian citizens to require more transparency and accountability from their institutions. The editor and fact-checker, Vesislava Antonova, moderated the premiere and the discussion with some of the investigative journalists about their contributions to the 2020 Black Book.
The MP Studio created an immersive virtual show with special effects, which offered the audience a very engaging digital experience. While the hosts (Vesislava, Petya, Martin and Georgi) were standing on a green screen in the studio, the viewers were immersed in a beautiful ‘digital library’, where through special effects the engaging show came to life.
A selection of the authors of the investigations were incorporated in the livestream digitally to showcase their stories and answer questions. Geogi Ganev presented the economic analysis about the effects of government waste on the welfare of Bulgarian citizens. Rossen Bossev, a journalist from Capital Weekly, introduced the leading case in this year’s issue about e-justice. Few investigations of national importance like highways, e-voting and the children’s hospital were presented by their authors: Mila Cherneva, journalist from Capital Weekly; Georgi Angelov, journalist from Offnews.bg and Nadezhda Tsekulova, program director “Campaigns and Communications” at Bulgarian Helsinski Committee.
FNF emphasizes in each edition of the Black Book as well on local stories, contributed by investigative journalists. A few of these local investigations were introduced at the premiere. “Our virtual library” was visited by Genka Shikerova, who shared her investigation about 12 mln BGN spent for wastewater purification plant, which never started functioning in the town of Pirdop. 2020 was a notorious year for Bulgaria, with numerous scandals and problems with water supply in many regions across the country. The investigative journalist Diyana Zhelyazkova shared the case of the town of Shumen.
A best case example of the impact of the Black Book is the follow-up to the story by the investigative journalist Maria Dimitrova from Zov News in Vratsa. Not only did the Prosecutor’s Office launch an official investigation on the basis of the submitted materials by the journalist Dimitrova, but also the municipality council cancelled the inefficient project altogether. This clearly demonstrates the scale and scope of the far-reaching impact, the good cooperation with state authorities, the seriousness of possible repercussions for misuse and waste of government resources. Last but not least, it signifies the professionalism of all journalists involved and the power of media as the forth power.
The premiere of the Black Book 2020 finished with the discussion with the investigative journalist from the bTV Marin Nikolov about the notorious forest swap deals.
FNF will continue publishing the Black Book of Government Waste with the support of excellent work of Bulgarian investigative journalists.