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Radio Bulgaria marks BNR’s 88th birthday with three nominations for the media’s Sirak Skitnik‎ award

Every day is special, but January 25 is especially solemn for all of us, the employees of the BNR – we celebrate 88 years since the establishment of the Bulgarian National Radio. By tradition since 2001, the culmination of the holiday is the presentation of the annual awards of the BNR and the announcement of the winner of the Sirak Skitnik Grand Prize named after the first director of the media – Panayot Todorov Hriston known by his artistic alias Sirak Skitnik .

The solemn ceremony will be held tonight in Studio 1 of the BNR and will be broadcast live on the bnr.bg website and on the air of the national Horizon channel. Among the 24 nominees – journalists, broadcasts, radio programmes, musicians and conductors, this year’s award winners will be determined in three categories: radio journalism, radio broadcast/radio project/multimedia project/music project and the Sirak Skitnik Grand Prize bestowed for significant contribution to the development of the Bulgarian National Radio.

It is not without pride that we recall that it was Radio Bulgaria* that was last year’s winner of the Sirak Skitnik Grand Prize – a statuette of Vezhdi Rashidov. The recognition was given to the daily foreign language podcast “Bulgaria Today” in 9 languages, which was restored in 2021. The programme in English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Serbian and Albanian is a unique product in the digital space with the variety of news, topics and Bulgarian music that represent Bulgaria as it is today.

Krasimir Martinov upon receiving the award in 2022, Director General Milen Mitev (right)

“These podcasts can be heard from the polar base of our Antarctic explorers to the beaches of Cuba,” said the editor-in-chief of Radio Bulgaria, Krasimir Martinov, upon receiving the statuette. After professing pride in the stoicism of his colleagues, Martinov concluded by saying, “We’re moving forward!” And we did.

Over the past year, Radio Bulgaria has continued to develop and enrich itself.

We have acquired a new member in our media family – a Romanian language section and we have restored the audio programme in Bulgarian, which is available on our webpage every weekday at 7pm. Our efforts did not go unnoticed and the Radio Bulgaria team again received a nomination for its audio programme, the podcast “Bulgaria Today”, and for the coverage of the parliamentary elections in 2022 among Bulgarians abroad. With which we also express our gratitude to you, our listeners and interlocutors from all over the world, because once again we proved that together we are a good team called “Bulgaria”.

This year, the team of the Russian editorial team of Radio Bulgaria deservedly received a nomination for the Sirak Skitnik Grand Prize. 

Vilhelm Baltadjian, Snejana Nikiforova, Desislava Semkovska, Elena Paskalova

In the extremely difficult and unpredictable months of the war in Ukraine, Desislava Semkovska, Snezhana Nikiforova, Elena Paskalova, Maria Atanasova and Vilhelm Baltadzhian adhered to the main principle in their work – the most accurate, complete and fact-based content. They were available for help with translation, commentary or history of their colleagues from the various programmes of the BNR and managed to transmit verified information from both sides of the war.

“The nomination is a recognition that we collectively deserved, trying to inform our users as detailed, timely and at a high linguistic level as possible,” says Vilhelm Baltadzhian, the “freshest addition” to the team of the Russian edition -“only” for 22 years now.

With a sense of humor in the serious workday, the official start of the Russian-language programmes on Radio Bulgaria began on April 1, 1995. Today, the Russian-language page of Radio Bulgaria is one of the most read on our website and the Russian-language podcast – one of the most listened-to audio products. “Our users are quite broad-minded and interested in a wide variety of topics and areas,” Vili explains.

“After all, we are “Radio Bulgaria” and our main task is to spread information about what is happening in Bulgaria, what a person, a foreigner, can expect when arriving here for a visit. We aim to be as detailed and comprehensive as possible on topics about everything that happens. And it attracts the attention of people from all over the world. ‎The language extends the scope of this information beyond specific ‎state boundaries.”‎

Our colleague, Radio Bulgaria’s music editor Albena Bezovska, has been nominated in the Radio Journalism category.

Albena Bezovska

For the past three decades, Albena’s professional path has been an integral part of Radio Bulgaria. A professional musician with a remarkable sense of music that translates the Bulgarian soul into all languages and continents. And the unique thing in the work of Radio Bulgaria, according to Albena, is the collective spirit and mutual help based on which we can offer the best we can to our audience. The nomination is an extremely emotional moment for her:

“First of all, it is extremely nice to receive recognition from your colleagues, because these are the people you have worked with every day, for years, and you know each other very well. I often made it difficult for my colleagues who translate the materials with musical terms or with hard-to-translate Bulgarian customs, rituals, names of ritual objects, but despite the difficulties, we have learned a lot from each other and it has always been very rewarding”.

And her wish to her professional family is simple and from the heart: ‎

“I would like to wish a lot of courage to all colleagues, because we have gone through many trials and are going beyond the creative nature of work. I want to wish them not to lose their taste, their joy of work, regardless of the sleepless nights and the numerous sacrifices that each of us has had to make and has to make in our personal life or in our personal time. And above all – let us all be healthy!”‎

The year 2023 marks the 140th anniversary of Sirak ‎Skitnik’s birth and the 80th anniversary of his death. The Bulgarian National Radio will mark the anniversaries with a series of initiatives and events, the first of which is the Sirak Skitnik Grand Prize award ceremony this evening. ‎

Read more about the history of Radio Bulgaria HERE.

*In its original form, Radio Bulgaria came to life on February 16, 1936. Since 1992, the BNR’s broadcasts for audiences abroad have been called “Radio Bulgaria”, and since May 2004, their team also maintains the multilingual page of BNR on the Internet. Today, Radio Bulgaria provides up-to-date news in text, pictures, and since last year also in sound, about the social and political life here, work and business opportunities, tourist trips and vacations, significant public, cultural and sports events and news from Bulgaria, of interest to a foreign audience, part of which are foreign citizens living in Bulgaria or visiting the country. Among the biggest fans of Radio Bulgaria are the Bulgarian communities abroad.‎




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