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BNR has presented its annual journalism awards

Journalist Martin Minkov receives Sirak Skitnik Award for 2019

On the eve of World Radio and Television Day, the Bulgarian National Radio celebrated its 85th anniversary and presented its annual journalism awards. The ceremony was held at BNR’s First Studio in the presence of journalists and media officials, beloved radio hosts from the past and present, guests, as well as Bulgaria’s Vice President Iliana Yotova.


"The past 2019 had been a tumultuous and dynamic year, but Bulgarian National Radio professionals resisted the hurricane-force winds in the name of the radio’s mission and its responsibility to society." This was how new Director General of the Bulgarian National Radio, Andon Baltakov, addressed the audience before last year's winners presented the awards to distinguished journalists.

The big award – “Sirak Skitnik”, named after the first director of Radio Sofia, went to BNR program director Martin Minkov, who has 40 years of professional experience - from a reporter through being a correspondent in Skopje and presenter of news and broadcasts.


Martin Minkov has significant contribution to the development of the media. He also received the Golden Voice Award, established by journalist Kevork Kevorkian in memory of his wife, Nadezhda Djeneva.

"We have seen an encroachment on the freedom of speech," was Mr. Minkov’s comment on attempts by authorities and figures in power to point out and label journalists. “When you adhere to professional norms and ethics and do not slander, you have the right to express your opinion, whether some may like it or not. There should never be an excuse for encroaching on the professionalism and rights of a journalist."

Stefka Bakardzhieva from BNR’s Regional Station in Burgas became this year's winner of the individual award for journalism.


It was given to her because of the implementation of numerous social campaigns in support of disadvantaged people.

The collective journalism award went to the team of Radio Plovdiv for the series "Dream and Reality – Together", dedicated to the events, part of the program of "Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019".

"Plovdiv is that place in the world where the foundations of our western civilization were laid," said Marin Danev, editor-in-chief of Radio Plovdiv. “That's why we felt comfortable in a city with eight thousand years of history, carrying the spirit of thousands of generations who have been building together. Thanks to them, we now have Plovdiv, which is recognized by everyone as a city of culture and unity.”

According to an idea of ​​the BNR Public Council, a special award – for keeping free and responsible journalism alive, was presented. It went to the team of the BNR’s Horizon information program.

This year, the Bulgarian National Radio celebrates yet another anniversary – the 60th anniversary of its Big Band. The orchestra has a remarkable history because prominent soloists of all generations have performed with it. It was the Big Band, together with the Children's Radio Choir and "Radio Kids" vocal group, who created the festive mood of the evening. Guests also saw a premiere excerpt from the film "From the City to the World" by Polya Stancheva, dedicated to the history of BNR.


Radio Bulgaria also participated with its nominations for the awards. Radio Bulgaria’s Turkish language service was nominated for its anthology of selection of works by modern Bulgarian authors, presented in the Turkish language in audiobook format. The second nomination was for the Internet Section of Radio Bulgaria, and the third one - for reporter Gergana Mancheva and her work throughout the past year. 

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Ani Petrova and BTA

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