At the world meeting of Bulgarian media, organised by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), the traditionally awarded prize of the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund for contributions to the dissemination of Bulgarian culture was presented. For the first time since the prize was inaugurated in 2013, the distinction was handed to two media: the Bulgarian newspapers from Odessa, Obozrenie Plus [Review Plus] and Roden Krai [Native Land].
In Tel Aviv, where the meeting took place, the Fund’s Executive Director, Slava Ivanova, presented certificates to Svetlana Dragneva, а journalist from Ukraine, to hand them over to the winners, who will also receive cash awards of BGN 1,000.
‘For the first time in the award’s history, there were two prize-winners at the 17th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media. ‘The decision to split the award was made because of the war raging in Ukraine and the hardships our compatriots have suffered as a result,’ said Slava Ivanova.
She added that the winning media have not been publishing since the beginning of hostilities, but as the prize is being awarded for the period from 1 January to 31 December , the decision of the joint NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ and BTA jury was justified. ‘They have always managed to cover everything concerning Bulgarian history, its way of life and culture; to preserve the Bulgarian word and the Bulgarian spirit,’ stated Ms. Ivanova.
Maria Popova is the editor-in-chief of Obozrenie Plus. The newspaper of the Association of Bulgarians in Ukraine has been in circulation for over 20 years, acting as the mouthpiece of the sociopolitical, cultural, and educational life of the Bulgarian community in the country. The media outlet has been the organiser and official partner of various national and cultural events. Journalists from Obozrenie Plus have won various creative awards and are members of the Union of Journalists in Ukraine, BTA reported.
Roden Krai and its editor-in-chief, Dora Kostova, received the NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ award for the second time. The newspaper also won a distinction in 2015, at the 11th World Meeting of the Bulgarian Media in Athens, Greece. It has been published for 33 years, every Saturday, without interruption, Kostova told BTA. ‘Throughout those years, we have been writing with the greatest desire that the Bulgarians who have been living outside the borders of Bulgaria, do not lose their historical memory,’ she added. The publication’s motto is ‘Let us remain Bulgarians!’.
Roden Krai’s editor-in-chief commented that being ‘on hold’ at the moment does not mean that the publication has closed down. In Kostova’s words, quoted by BTA, it was disrupted owing to financial difficulties. ‘All newspapers funded by government programmes were suspended three years ago, and then patrons appeared, until the war broke out,’ she remarked.
‘Then, I decided it was unethical to ask for money for a newspaper because it was needed for people’s physical salvation. That is why I say we have suspended activities, but it does not mean we have ended publication. The office is there; it is closed, waiting for better times… ,’ admitted Dora Kostova, while calling on Bulgaria to help Ukraine. ‘We are grateful that Bulgaria accepted many emigrants from Ukraine and appreciate the helping hand through this difficult time,’ added the journalist.
Anya Terzivets, presenter of ‘The Voice of Bulgarians’ on Suspilne Odesa Public Television received a cash prize from NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’. The programme has been broadcast in Bulgarian every Sunday for more than 20 years. In 2013, Terzivets became its writer and presenter. The historical values, traditions, and customs of the Bulgarians on the territory of Ukraine are the focus of ‘The Voice of Bulgarians’. ‘The show concentrates on learning, patriotic education and the creative development of Bulgarian youth,’ Terzivets informed BTA.
Over the past two years, the programme has contributed to the European project, ‘Shades of Ukraine’, reporting stories about patriotic Bulgarians who not only preserve their roots but also make creative exhibits in the Bulgarian style, such as gourd-shaped utensils made of pumpkins, Bulgarian clay dolls, paintings, etc. ‘The Voice of Bulgarians’ suspended its broadcasts for two months after the start of the war in Ukraine. In March, Anya Terzivets arrived in Varna, where she became a volunteer, and recorded the show once a month until mid-September, when she returned to Odessa.
‘Now, “The Voice of Bulgarians” consists of two stories or plots. One, about how Bulgarians in Ukraine, despite being surrounded by war, continue to preserve their traditions. And the other, about how the Bulgarians become involved in the war itself: they help, weave nets for the military, fight, collect funds, give shelter to refugees from the hot spots in our country, and so on,’ said Terzivets.
The NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ award was set up in 2013, and at this year’s media meeting it was presented for the ninth time.
If you wish to find out which media have been awarded over the years, click here:
Photographs: Natalia Boyadzhieva