of two

Mass media access: Europe (1)

There are many areas of Europe that do not have access to mass media, including radio and television. We selected the Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Macedonia because statistics show that more than half of the population do not have any access to a TV in these countries and less than half of the population do not have any access to the internet. The internet has the highest penetration compared to other media in all 3 countries. Although we can provide the figures per radio, TV and internet access per country, it is not possible to triangulate a final mass media access figure as information is not publicly available. In Bulgaria, ranges of mass media are from 40%-60% depending on the type of media. Additionally, Montenegro and Macedonia range from 25%-62% and 20%-69%, respectively.


Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Macedonia are chosen for this study since these 3 countries are listed in the top 10 poorest countries in Europe based on their GDP per capita and experiencing economic hardships.
Due to the poorness of the countries, radio, television, and internet are considered luxury services and are not readily available. While Bulgaria has recovered better than many countries its economy still is not as robust. The Montenegro GDP is gradually improving but still considered one of the poorest. 72% of Macedonians are just barely making ends meet and mass media is not an option for them.

Media coverage for these countries includes newspapers, TV, radio, and internet. I could not find the latest data regarding the exposure of television and radio and newspapers but I was able to get an updated data of the internet penetration of these 3 European countries. I have compiled figures for TV & Radio access and internet access per country.


Total Population: 7.7 Million
Newspapers reach: 40%
(60% without newspaper)
Radio reach: 58.5%
(41.49% without a radio)
TV reach: 42.5 %
(57.5% does not have access to TV)
Internet: 58.5%
(41.5% of the population do not have access or use internet)


Total Population: 10.6 Million
Radio: 29.5%
(70.5% without a radio)
TV: 25.8%
(74.24% does not have access to TV)
Internet: 62%
(38% of the population do not have access or use internet)


Total Population: 2.04 Million
Radio: 20.04%
(79.96% without a radio)
TV: 24.92%
(75.08% does not have access to TV)
Internet: 69.2%
(30.8% of the population do not have access or use internet)

The share of Bulgaria population that uses the internet is 58.5 % as of 2016. It means 41.5% of the population do not have access or use the internet. In Montenegro, the population that uses the internet is 62% as of 2016. It means that 38% of the population do not have access or use the internet. And in Macedonia, the share of the population that uses the internet is 69.2% as of 2016. It means that 30.8% of the population do not have access or use the internet.


Despite the limited capabilities of internet archiving, we were able to locate the penetration of media for each of the countries selected. Bulgaria has penetration levels between 40%-60% depending on the type of media. Montenegro has between 25% and 62% penetration rates based on the type of media and Macedonia has between 20%-69% depending on the type of media. Unfortunately, data on who these people are and why they have no access to mass media is publicly unavailable. As some categories overlap it was difficult to triangulate final figures for television and internet access as is the same for those who may not have access to radio but do have access to television or internet.

of two

Mass media access: Europe (2)

In general, there is low access to the media in the four countries included in this report, that is, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania and Ukraine. The reason for lack of access is the economic circumstances of the people living in these areas. There is are high levels of poverty, joblessness and homelessness. The number of homeless people in Ukraine as at 2015 was one million, at the same time the country’s population was less than 45 million. So, aside from Ukraine which has a high radio penetration of over 90%, it would be impossible to reach over 70% of the populations of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus should a disaster strike. However, information from Internet Stats shows that about 60% of the population in these countries have internet access. Please find below a more detailed account of our finding including how we triangulated these figures.

In order to arrive at figures for media penetration for the four countries, the first step was to find information regarding access to TV, radio and internet. These resources here, here, here and here provided the needed data for the four countries in the report. Next, it was a case of adding the percentages and dividing by number of countries to arrive at an average. For instance, data shows that Belarus has 29.18% access to radio, Albania has 23.07% access to radio and Bosnia-Herzegovina has 23.97% access to radio. An addition of the three figures and dividing by three gives an average of about 25% access in the three countries. In this instance, Ukraine was not added because the high radio penetration of 93.31% will significantly skew the average. Same logic was applied in determining the TV penetration of 24.61% and internet penetration using statistics from internet stats. Using the information from here, here, here and here, the average of roughly 40.6% penetration was deduced.

The reasons for the low internet penetration can be tied to the poverty, joblessness and homelessness. In Albania, there are over 800,000 homeless people. As at 2010 there were roughly 143,000 people homeless in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in Ukraine the figure for homeless people in 2015 was one million. These figures speak to the general poverty of the people in these countries and so it will be difficult for them to afford technology needed to access TV, radio and/or the internet.


In the four countries featured in this report namely Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Albania and Belarus, media penetration is very low with over 70% of the population not having access to TV, radio and the internet. The biggest reason for this lack of access is inability to purchase the technology needed due to high poverty rates.