The position of the UBJ Managing Board on the unprecedented crisis in BNR

27.09.2019 /15:17 | Източник: UBJ Големина на шрифт: a a    Отпечатай:


P O Z I T I O N

of  UBJ  Managing Board, on the occasion of the unprecedented crisis in the Bulgarian National Radio  - Sofia, September 20, 2019

The Managing Board of the  Union of Bulgarian Journalists (UBJ) expresses its strong position in support of the Bulgarian National Radio journalists and insists that the management contract of the Director General of Bulgarian National Radio / BNR / Svetoslav Kostov be terminated in connection with the gross administrative offenses committed, impairing freedom of expression, national security and the implementation of the Horizont program license.

“We insist the Council of Electronic Media (CEM) dismiss the members of the BNR Board of Directors as well.

The BNR is in an unprecedented crisis.

Evidences of this are as follows: the removal of longtime radio journalist Sylvia Velikova from the air - an established and indisputable expert in the coverage of legal issues, the five-hour suspension of the broadcast of Horizon on national radio on September, 13, leaving the national radio station now without a radio program .

During the hearing of the Horizont editorial board at the CEM, on September 19, 2019, shocking facts were presented about the pressure exerted by the BNR Director General - about restrictions on journalist, imposition of censorship and interference with editorial independence. In his public statements, Ivaylo Savov testified firsthand about this pressure exerted by outside forces on him and General Manager Svetoslav Kostov on the removal of Sylvia Velikova from the air.

However, the BNR leadership continued to exert order pressure, and the former Horizont director, Savov, was forced to retire because of his refusal to obey.

The recent BNR cases are clear evidence of an attack on free speech. Fundamental values are lost - the right of journalists to ask questions and to inform the public.

The BNR Director-General bears the direct blame for appointing a senior management pozition with no administrative experience. Without competition, the post of Editor-in-Chief in Horizont was filled by Nikolay Krastev, who proved his "skills" in practice and had to resign on the first business day. And for the Technical director Svetoslav Kostov choose a man who was compromised during the governing of the one of former BG PM Ivan Kostov as a conductor of tension in the BNR, then as an administrative director, replaced the news teams and transferred the signal to another studio in order to eliminate the voice of the journalists from Horizont. At the moment Plamen Kostov is the prime suspect in stopping the broadcast of Horizont, but in no case did he act alone! Direct guarantors and silent witnesses carry no less guilt! We believe that the falsehoods and arrogant behavior of the BNR Director General violate all moral and ethical professional standards.

The whole course of events in the BNR in recent days has brought to light the deep crisis in the media environment in Bulgaria, for which the ruling ones turn a blind eye. This time, the "riders" have severely stood up and glossed over the hideous methods by which empowered factors try to press the media when they do not want to play their whistle. The truth came as a result of the resistance and solidarity of the journalism college, which rebelled and showed that it no longer wanted to endanger the freedom of speech and media independence, the rights of journalists.

If, again, the facts of this hideous intervention are not completely dismantled, if the names of the backstage guarantors are not revealed and they do not bear their punishment, the ugly "telephone" right will continue to rule in the Bulgarian media environment and the hope of millions of Bulgarians will be killed. for real democratic change.

We are deeply concerned about the emerging facts and about threats - even physical violence - with rebellious journalists.

The BNR Board of Directors also disputes the involvement of the local UBJ section in the Hristo Botev - BNR Program,  in a subscription that supports the current BNR leadership  If there are members of our Union, who wish to be managed in this way by this compromised management team on Radio, let them clearly identify themselves with their names without engaging the entire company.

The BNR is not only the oldest electronic media in our country. The BNR is an Institution.

The UBJ Managing Board expects the investigating authorities to determine exactly where and from whom the pressure was exerted on the management of the Radio.

We urge CEM members who have concluded management contracts with the BNR Director General and members of the Governing Board of the media and are responsible for their choice not to delay their decision to impose measures and sanctions to ensure a normal working environment for journalists. in the public media.

We are in solidarity with the worthy position of all who defended the values ​​and professional standards of work of journalists in these trials. We stand on the side of freedom of the media and the right of journalists to ask their questions freely. The Council of the UWB will refer our partners from the International and European Federations of Journalists, as well as the European Commission for the alarming situation in the Bulgarian National Radio and for the offensive against the independence of the media in Bulgaria.

On the eve of the forthcoming elections, it is necessary to normalize the situation in the public media as soon as possible.

And this catharsis goes through the resignations of this BNR leadership   

JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME!            

FREEDOM DEPENDS ON US!

UBJ Managing Board

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