One of Bivol’s journalists was elected Deputy Chairman of the recently- established in public interest Association “Network for Free Speech“. The Director of the media, Asen Yordanov, shares that he is participating in person because it is high time for a Renaissance of freedom of speech in our country and a wide range of activities must be undertaken in this direction. On Thursday, renowned Bulgarian mediators and journalists, media owners, members of NGOs, lawyers and lecturers gathered in the conference hall of the State news agency BTA. They included Professor Nelly Ognyanova, Associate Professor Orlin Spasov – lecturer and Head of the Foundation “Media Democracy”, Yuliana Metodieva from the site Marginalia, Spas Spasov from Capital daily, Prolet Velkova from Darik Radio and more than 40 other colleagues from national and regional media. Associate Professor Spasov was the President of the Constituent Assembly. The popular host of the show “The Journalists’ Club” on the public radio BNR, Iren Fileva, was elected President of the five-member Board. Spas Spasov was elected the other Deputy Chairman of the organization. The Managing Board also includes Spasiana Kirilova from TV + and respected lawyer Lyudmil Srandev.

All participants expressed the unanimous opinion that violation of freedom of speech is evident in Bulgaria; that journalists work in conditions of strong dependencies and degraded media environment and that good ideas from the past such as having a Bulgarian Media Coalition should be resurrected and should increase their activity in protection of freedom of speech. This will fill the big vacuum in the country created by the lack of authentic governmental structure that protects not only the major milestones of journalism, but is also acting in support of journalists and media under pressure, attacks or censorship. This mission is especially relevant in Bulgaria, which rapidly collapsed to being last in freedom of speech in the European Union. In the last 7 years, our country plummeted by more than 60 points downward in the ranking of Reporters Without Borders and from 36th now ranks at the shameful 100th place in freedom of speech and media. Countries like Kosovo and Albania are far ahead of us in this ranking. The Network sets as priority increasing public intolerance towards different forms of backstage deals not only in the media but in all other sectors. It will protect the fundamental principle of the right of people to have access to objective, high-quality and reliable information, as well as compliance with the Code of Ethics of journalism.

The association also adopted its statutes. In addition to Asen Yordan, Bivol commits as a media to defend freedom of speech with its contribution to the “Network for Free Speech“.



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