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Speaking your language for 86 years

The fascinating story of the first overseas broadcasts of the BNR - part 2

After the 1950s, the programmes in French, English, German, Italian, Turkish, Greek, Serbo-Croatian and Albanian were created, in 1956 the Bulgarian Radio also launched broadcasts in Arabic. This action was provoked by the Suez Canal crisis. Stefan Alahverdzhiev was elected head of the Arabic section, and editors Petar Marvakov, Tsvetana Yancheva, Nadezhda Georgieva and Ganka Petkova began working there.

On June 19, 1957, the broadcasting of the Bulgarian radio in Spanish began. The first collaborators in Spanish were Emilia Tsenkova, Tsvetan Georgiev, Nikola Ivanov and Hristo Gonevski. After the "Carnation Revolution" in Portugal, Portuguese-language broadcasts were created under the direction of Shela Avramova. Shortly afterwards, in the same year, in the already established Directorate for Broadcasting Abroad at the Bulgarian National Radio, the Developing Countries editorial board was established, which used to prepare programs in French, English and Portuguese for Africa and Latin America. Then the editors-in-chief of the Foreign-language broadcasts department were Hristo Diamandiev and Bogomil Mechkarski.

At the end of the 1950s, the broadcasting of Bulgarian-language programs abroad was resumed, which had been suspended after the change of the regime in September 9, 1944. At that time, Bulgarian-language programs were directed to North and South America, where there were Bulgarians from the so-called "economic emigrants". Along with this, "The Voice of Bulgaria" was aimed at Bulgarian sailors and professionals working abroad. At the end of the 1960s, the programs for Macedonia and for Bulgarians in America were resumed.

In 1974, there were some changes in the media policy of the Bulgarian state - radio broadcasts for audiences abroad were taken over by the Bulgarian Radio (the then name of the Bulgarian National Radio), and materials for some newspapers printed abroad in their native language for Bulgarian communities , began to be managed by the Sofia Press Agency. This way of working continued until the end of the 1980s, when democratic changes took place in Bulgaria.

Since 1992, the foreign-language programs of the Bulgarian National Radio have been renamed to "Radio Bulgaria", and in May 2004, Radio Bulgaria launched a website with texts and audio files in 11 languages ​​(Bulgarian, English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Serbian, Turkish, Albanian and Arabic).


You can get acquainted in more detail with the development of Radio Bulgaria in the new millennium in the article "Radio Bulgaria and the vicissitudes of time"


Based on historical data summarized by Bozhidar Metodiev - creator and curator of the Museum of the Bulgarian National Radio


Edited by Krasimir Martinov


English version Rositsa Petkova

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