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Culture and Media Committee Adopts BTA’s Annual Reports for 2020, 2021 and 2022

The National Assembly Culture and Media Committee adopted the annual reports of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) for 2020, 2021 and 2022 by a unanimous vote of 11-0, with no abstentions, on Thursday.
The report for 2020 is for the last year under the late director-general Maxim Minchev. The current BTA chief, Kiril Valchev, presented the reports in a new format in which the content is arranged in tables clearly showing the concrete steps taken in each activity toward each goal. Valchev said that the steps were geared to pursue five strategic goals: freedom, truth, knowledge, community and memory.
Valchev stressed that his policy has been to continue and build upon what had been done at BTA since its establishment in 1898, including to carry on with many of the things done by Minchev.
The parliamentary committee meeting was also attended by BTA Deputy Director General Evgenia Drumeva, the agency’s Secretary General Julia Sokolova and Finance Director Joanna Petrova.
Freedom: Owing to changes made in 2021 BTA’s content is freely accessible now, Valchev told the committee. This was achieved after a major technological transformation. By permission of the National Assembly, BTA’s system integration is serviced by the Information Services Company. BTA renewed its agreements with the global news agencies, which usually have reservations about free access to news content. “We brought everyone to accept that, and now the Bulgarian media are free to use information from the global news agencies translated into Bulgarian at BTA,” Valchev said.
Truth: BTA has adopted a new Code of Ethics, Valchev said. The Code sets two main rules: attribution of every news item and non-judgmental reporting.
Knowledge: BTA has expanded its geographical presence over the reporting period, the director general said. By 2020 it ran a network of 11 press clubs and correspondents in regional capitals in Bulgaria. The number of press clubs has increased to 26. At present, the agency runs press clubs outside the regional capitals as well. This year, it plans to open such facilities in the towns of Gotse Delchev and Troyan. It has correspondents and press clubs in Skopje, Ankara and Bucharest. The plan is to add Belgrade and Athens to the list. Besides that, BTA has posted correspondents to centres of large Bulgarian communities such as Bosilegrad in Serbia, Taraclia in Moldova and Odesa in Ukraine. BTA is expanding its information sources by establishing bilateral exchange with other national news agencies.
Community: BTA has a news service called BG World, which receives information from all Bulgarian communities which the agency manages to reach, Valchev said. “We carry on with the meetings initiated by my predecessor Maxim Minchev, the meetings of Bulgarian media worldwide.” He said the 2024 World Meeting of Bulgarian Media will be held in Odesa, Ukraine on June 12-13. The main theme will be “Media and Community”.
Memory: BTA’s archives since 1898 are in the middle of intensive digitization. By the end of 2023 the agency had completely digitized its archive until 1945, Valchev said.