E-networking and journalism for civic action

BlueLink will support defenders and advocates for European values, democracy, human and environmental rights in Bulgaria by providing a functional e-networking and information hub at www.bluelink.net. BlueLink will consolidate the existing trust-based platform for direct content exchange and co-ordination among CSOs and the virtual newsroom for watchdog journalism in a hybrid platform, employing intensively video exchange and netcasting.

First steps of the transformation were supported by ‘Citizens For Europe’ - a community of engaged European citizens from NGOs, foundations, media, public authorities, willing to expand their networks, share resources and exchange good practices. It also serves as a networking platform with hundreds of organisations and initiatives throughout Europe.

BlueLink will start this structural transition by consulting civil society users on their needs, understanding and abilities in regards to ICTs - in Bulgaria, but also in Hungary, Romania, Poland, the Baltic states and EU candidate countries where we operate. Review of available online instruments for multimedia content production and direct communication, based on the user experience, safety, reliability, and open source availability will help us choose the most reliable and safe ones to implement as part of BlueLink’s communications architecture.  In 2021 we will start pilot netcasts with different formats, including journalistic reports and discussions including commentary by civil society experts. We shall also explore the possibilities for financial sustainability and future self-financing of the channel through consultations with peers in the civic sector and a marketing and sales experts.

BlueLink’s structural changes are a response to alarming recent developments. Persistent pressure against pro-European and pro-democratic civil society actors has been accelerating over the past 5 years. It involves unfavourable funding conditions, administrative and procedural hurdles, pressure from state authorities, threats and hate-speech by political and opinion leaders. Discourses denying European values and questioning democracy, social solidarity and equality principles, are aggressively imposed by mass media - largely captured and controlled by oligarchic circles in East and South European EU members. Commercial social networks’ data-mining and artificial intelligence based business models undermine democracies, trust and solidarity too. While the Covid-related isolation dictates the use of safer, sensitive, trust-based networking channels. Shrinking democratic space and undermining of European values take place regionally, with perpetrators replicating methods across countries. Effective responses need to also be regional, and connect attacked groups directly.

Yet another important issue

BlueLink promotes shared European values: human dignity and rights, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and environmental sustainability - by supporting trust-based civic networking and watchdog journalism. Help us do better! Learn more about the BlueLink's mission, vision, scope and activities. Share your stories, news and recommendations. Volunteer or join our international team. And make a donation  to the BlueLink Foundation - this will keep us independent and firmly on course.