At Radio Bulgaria the standard has always been and…

Almost 20 years ago, when electronic media were barely taking their first steps on the web, a team of young and enthusiastic people created one of the most widely read websites – the website of Radio Bulgaria. Its editor-in-chief was journalist Lubomit Lazarov. In 2001 he took up the challenge of standing at the head of the internet department of the Bulgarian National Radio’s foreign language programmes. The newly established department didn’t even have the logistical support to start doing its job and lay the foundations of the Bulgarian National Radio’s presence on the internet, yet with the multi-lingual content and the on-air programmes, the stakes were very high. After three years of hard work, in May, 2004, the Radio Bulgaria website – the first for the BNR – was ready:

“Despite all difficulties we were facing, we did it, we gave the start to the website of Radio Bulgaria in 11 languages (Bulgarian, Russian, French, English, German, Spanish, Greek, Albanian, Serbian, Turkish and Arabic). It still has no analogue on the internet in Bulgaria, because posting information from and about Bulgaria in various spheres in all of these languages is no easy thing.”

The International Web Festival award, 2004
A month later, at the beginning of June, 2004, at the International Web Festival in the resort of Albena, Radio Bulgaria’s website, bnr.bg, won the prestigious “Gold Umbrella” award and was declared Website of the Year, in recognition of the professionalism of the web team, who also received high praise for their work from the European Broadcasting Union.

“Radio Bulgaria still has no analogue in the media landscape,” says Lubomir Lazarov and adds:

“Unfortunately, eventually one of the languages was dropped for reasons beyond our control – the website in Arabic, one of the most visited languages on our website. I was told the languages are now back to 11, with the Romanian language being added. It was, actually, one of the first languages Radio Bulgaria was broadcasting in when it was first established. There was so much enthusiasm, the team really believed we were doing something important, something big, with this website. Their work should never be downplayed! The team was put together quickly and we started work – it cost us a lot of effort and many sleepless nights. Any new undertaking that is big and complex is difficult to build, and I believe nobody has any regrets from those years when we started it together.”

But, as everyone knows, professionalism often has a darker side if it is not appreciated, and the BNR staff have been continuing to do their job, and doing it so well out of a sense of duty. “When you are in this profession you have a duty to society, to everyone,” Lubomir Lazarov says.

Любомир Лазаров с част от екипа на интернет страницата на Радио България, 2012 г.
“Radio Bulgaria’s journalists have always been outstanding, they have always been on top of current affairs and have provided genuine information. In the 20 years I was at Radio Bulgaria, and I know colleagues who were there before me, Radio Bulgaria has never had any problems with information that is not true, or fake or inaccurate. That means a very high standard, which, I am glad to say continues.”

Translated from the Bulgarian and posted by Milena Daynova

Photos: Darina Grigorova, BNR

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