European Federation of Journalists

Bulgaria: recruitment, working conditions, investigative journalism among top priorities for journalists

The Union of Journalists in Bulgaria (SJBP Podkrepa, EFJ affiliate) has successfully held its 9th national conference on 25/06/2015 at the conference hall of the Confederation of Labour Syndicate in Sofia (Bulgaria). Reneta Nikolova, TV journalist, author and presenter of the rubric We and the Law at the Bulgarian National Televison, has been re-elected as President of Podkrepa with an absolute majority, she will work in tandem with her deputy Yavor Simov, an investigative journalist. The SJBP Podkrepa has 187 members and the main objectives of the new leadership are the following :

  • recruitment of new members
  • improving working conditions for journalists
  • support investigative journalism
  • sharing European best practices
  • support transparency of media ownership
  • enhance qualification of journalists
  • protection of sources
  • provide legal aid.

“The most important thing for us is to be effective in the public media, therefore we will work very actively in this direction by using European best practices”, said Reneta Nikolova. “Both of us have never been into easy things”, added Yavor Simov. “We usually value important and strong challenges, no matter how difficult and risky it has been for us”.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)’s Director Renate Schroeder sent a letter of solidarity to the national conference and emphasized the need to continue to fight against physical threats and poor working conditions for journalists in this country. Referring to the recent report on media freedom Bulgaria published by Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks, the EFJ has invited Podkrepa to inform the federation of any violations one of its members may face in order to report the cases to international networks collecting or mapping media freedom violations.

The 9th national conference of the Union of Journalists in Bulgaria was attended by Dimitar Manolov, President of Podkrepa Confederation of Labour and Nelly Hristova, the Confederation Secretary.  “Right now the responsibility of journalists is extremely high. The journalists are intermediaries between the people who make decisions and those who need to understand the meaning of those decisions. We are ready to support all initiatives to change the situation because journalists in Bulgaria continue to face unprecedented attacks against freedom of speech and the right to protect the confidentiality of their sources”, said Dimitar Manolov.

Photo : Podkrepa