The Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media (BROD) launches its website



The Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media (BROD), which works under the framework of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), launches its website The hub portal starts in the context of rising disinformation and hybrid war against the European Union.

The website is available in three languages – Bulgarian, Romanian and English – and will include fact-checks and media literacy materials as well as research on disinformation in the region. The content will be unique, developed by the hub partners, and there will be references to important developments from other observatories working at the level of the European Commission.

From the beginning of 2023, the development of BROD has started with the project coordinator Prof. Sylvia Ilieva, the Director of the Institute for Big Data for the Smart Society GATE at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.

The BROD hub is one of the newly established  regional centers for disinformation research in two neighbouring countries, Bulgaria and Romania. 

The BROD hub brings together journalists, researchers, technology companies, and media literacy trainers from the region. 

The online portal gives access to a continuous feed of fact-check articles aimed at debunking information in Bulgarian and Romanian and to dozens of archives available at launch. 
Part of the initiative is the fact-checking leader Agence France-Presse (AFP) with its work in both countries: Proveri for Bulgaria; and Verificat for Romania. Bulgarian National Television (BNT) is also part of the observatory with its new team of fact-checkers. On the Romanian side the hub’s fact-checking activity  is also carried on by Factual, a platform launched by FUNKY CITIZENS.

The research part is entrusted to Vitosha Research Ltd. and GLOBSEC (Slovakia), and the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA, Romania). Support in the field of media literacy will come from the Centre for Independent Journalism (Romania) and the National Training Centre (Bulgaria). In the consortium, new technological developments will come from Ontotext (Bulgaria), XWiki SOFTWARE SRL (Romania, France), and the Athens Technology Centre (ANONYMI VIOMICHANIKI EMPORIKI KAI TECHNIKI ETAIREIA EFARMOGON YPSILIS TECHNOLOGIAS). 

In their work, the experts will be guided by the European Commission's concept of disinformation, understood as verifiably false or misleading information that is created, presented, and disseminated for economic gain or to intentionally deceive the public, and may cause public harm. Public harm comprises threats to democratic political and policy-making processes as well as public goods such as the protection of EU citizens' health, the environment or security. Disinformation threatens and restricts the fundamental rights of citizens by attacking them with highly selective information, inciting fear, and arousing hatred. The creation of the observatory answered the growing necessity to protect the European public interest, endangered by the continuous attempts to limit the freedom of the media by a broad variety of actors, and the limited information literacy of citizens, which implies easy susceptibility to internal and external disinformation campaigns, also directed against the European Union at large.