Readers voted on Bivol’s fan page on Facebook to select the site’s investigative report of the year. Our investigation related to BSPLeaks – the talking points and the internet trolls – was ranked first. This topic is in progress and we will continue to follow it in 2014.
Second is the “Buddha” file, which exposed with irrefutable documents the criminal past of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who resigned in the aftermath.
The third place is shared by the investigation in the real estate “sting” masterminded by Irena Krasteva and her son Delyan Peevski and the grant from the European Parliament to Monica Yosifova, wife of the President of the Party of European Socialists, PES, Sergey Stanishev. In 2014, we will continue to monitor closely this latter issue.
In 2013, Bivol’ had over 1 million unique visitors, who read more than 7 million pages (luckily they are counted by Google and not by the Interior Ministry The number of fans of our site on Facebook surpassed 50 000. Donations to the site, which are our main financial source, exceeded 25 000 levs.
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In 2013, Bivol became partner of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism OCCRP and has been frequently quoted in international media: Forbes, L’Express, Новая Газета, ARD, Arte TV, Ars Technica, Atlatszo and others
Asen Yordanov was nominated for the awards of Reporters Without Borders and Google Netizens. At the peak of the antigovernment occupation of Sofia University, the “Early Risers” students invited Atanas Tchobanov and Asen Yordanov to deliver a lecture on Bulgarian mafia. The manager of Bivol, Alberta Alkalay, received the Audience Award for “Human of the Year.”
In 2013, Bivol continued its media partnership with Wikileaks in the projects PlusD and SpyFiles 3. Wikileaks supported us in the most difficult moments of 2013 when we were probed by Bulgarian authorities over the “Buddha” file. Julian Assange praised our work, described in detail in the book by journalist Andy Greenberg from Forbes, which was translated and published in Bulgarian as well.
In 2013, Bivol also continued with court battles and sentenced the Customs Agency to provide the report of its inspection in the factory of Misho the Beer. A new trial is pending in 2014 because the Customs refused to reveal the name of the person who obstructed the inspection.
Bivol even earned the censorship of the Council of Europe because of its uncompromising attitude towards Bulgarian politicians’ abuses, regardless of their party affiliation. We will follow this topic with particular pleasure in 2014 as we already anticipate the year to be abundant in discoveries and key for the refraction of the symbiosis between government and mafia.
In the new year, Bivol will continue to delve deeper into the muddy Bulgarian public environment and to bring to light the dirty laundry of people in power. Because this is our cause as journalists and this is the path to true public catharsis, not the supplanted, cynical, Peevski one. Moreover, we have proved that we can sustain plenty of mud and nothing can discourage and scare us.
Cheers to you, dear readers, for the New 2014 and our inevitable victory!
The presentation of Asen Yordanov for the Netizen and Reporters Without Borders awards.
Асен Йорданов по bTV: Събитията на 2013 през погледа на журналистите.
Lecture before the “Early Risers” students in hall 272 in the occupied Sofia University on the topic “Mafia and Media in Bulgaria.” Video: Politikat.net
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