The Light of Prof. Philip Panayotov Will Always Be with Us. Bowing to you, Master!

  • 15.06.2023
  • UBJ
Prof. Philip Panayotov

The Bulgarian journalistic community is devastated by the news of the passing away of the deeply respected and beloved professor Philip Panayotov, who left us on June 14 this year at the age of 89.

With his many years of teaching at the Faculty of Journalism of the University of St. Kliment Ohridski in Sofia, with his books, with his deep mark in a number of periodicals, with his erudition, humanism, ethics and human light prof. Philip Panayotov opened the way into the journalistic profession for several generations of his students, planting in them the fundamental values of honest and public-serving journalism. Today we all mourn in silence and bow: Master! Your light will always be with us...

Professor Philip Panayotov has made an invaluable and extensive contribution as one of the most thorough researchers of the history of Bulgarian journalism. Thanks to his lectures and books, the names and images of such collossi of our native journalism such as Joseph Herbst, Krustyo Rakovsky, Dimitar Naydenov are now shining with new brightnessr for their creative heritage, civic stance and moral values. It was prof. Panayotov who let "fly" among our college the winged motto of Joseph Herbst, embodying the dignity of journalistic duty: "Never fawn on anyone, never do something to spite someone”.

Quite naturally, after receiving the First Prize of the Union of Bulgarian Journalist in 1980, Prof. Panayotov was awarded in 2004 the Grand Prize of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, named after Joseph Herbst, for his overall contribution to Bulgarian journalism.

On 30 November this year prof. Philip Panayotov would have turned 90. The UBJ, together with the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications at the Sofia University, is preparing a special celebration of his anniversary, combining the anniversaries of the already deceased prof. Georgi Borshukov (120 years since birth) and prof. Dafin Todorov (100 years). At the explicit wish of prof. Panayotov, the celebration was planned to be held at the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, of which he had been a member since 1960 and in many of whose activities and initiatives he had actively participated for decades. Of course, the jubilee celebration will take place, but, alas, without his indispensable presence...

The loss of prof. Philip Panayotov leaves a huge gap not only in journalism, but also in our entire social balance, because along with his äwesome intellect, which has crossed into eternity, we are also deprived of his invaluable moral tuning fork, with which he was able to urge our confused modernity towards more harmony...

Let us hope that our media community will prove worthy of prof. Philip Panayotov and will keep alive everything that he taught us throughout his dignified and dedicated life.

Let us again recall the facts of his life and professional path.

Philip Lambev Panayotov was born on October 30, 1933 in the village of Zlataritsa, (district of Veliko Tarnovo), where he received his primary and secondary education. He graduated in history at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of Sofia University in 1956.

He worked as a reporter at the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (1956-1958), as an editor at the Patriot weekly (1958-1960) and as head of department at Narodna Mladezh daily (1960-1965). He was editor-in-chief of the youth literature and art weekly Pulse (1965-1967) and of the monthly socio-political magazine Youth (1968-1970). At the Ivan Bashev Institute of Foreign Policy he was in charge of publishing (1970-1972).

He was a lecturer (since 1969), associate professor (1973) and full professor (1984) at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications. He became Doctor of Historical Sciences (1980), and headed the Department of History and Theory of Journalism (1984-1992).

He taught lecture courses in: History of Bulgarian Journalism 1942-1944, History of Bulgarian Analytical Journalism, Journalism and the Modernization of Bulgarian Society, National Psychology of the Bulgarians.

As a guest professor he has lectured at Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" and at the University of National and World economy (UNWE) in Sofia.

For a short time he worked as an expert in higher education in the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party (1972). As chairman of the University Editorial Board he founded and directed the University Publishing House "St. Kliment Ohridski" (1986-1989). He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the literary weekly ABV (1979-1989).

He was a member of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists since 1960. He had been a member of the BCP (1964-1990) and of the Bulgarian Historical Society (1964-1990).

Prof. Philip Panayotov has been awarded numerous honours and prizes. Here are some of the most important of them:

Order "Cyril and Methodius", first degree (1983), Honoured Art Worker  (1983), First Prize of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists (1980), Grand Prize "Joseph Herbst" of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists  for contribution to Bulgarian journalism (2004), Honorary Sign - Blue Ribbon of Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski" (2003).

In 2013, on the occasion of the 135th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria, he was awarded a Badge of Honour and a diploma "in recognition of his noble contribution to the establishment of modern Bulgarian statehood".

He is the author of scientific, journalistic and artistic works, including "Duel in the Airwaves 1941-1945" (1975), "The Press in the Fire of the Uprising" (1979), "Joseph Herbst. Life and Death" (1981), "Dr. Krustyo Rakovsky" (1988), "The Truth No One Believed" (1990), "And the Dead Will Speak" (2004), "Newspapers and Newspapermen" (2008), "Clippings from Old Newspapers" (2009), "Without Indiscretions" (2011).

Under his editorship, the “Almanac of Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski" 1938-1988”, and the Almanac "Bulgaria 20th Century" (1999) were prepared and published.

Once again we express our deep respect to the outstanding contribution and the bright memory of prof. Philip Panayotov.

We express our deepest condolences to his family and relatives for their great loss.

Managing board of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists