In the midst of protests: Journalists, members of the public and clergy demanded the resignation of Emil Koshlukov | Media News from Bulgaria and the World

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In the midst of the anti-government protests, former long-time BNT staff, members of the public, clergy and artists demanded in an open letter the resignation of General Director Emil Koshlukov.

The letter is on the occasion of amendments to the Law on Radio and Television submitted to the National Assembly, which proposes that the term of office of the directors general of BNT and BNR be extended from 3 to 5 years. The author of the amendment is Vezhdi Rashidov (GERB). A second change is also envisaged, which eases the professional requirements for candidates for CEOs.

“Introducing them at this very moment creates the compulsive feeling that something is being done quickly and in the dark again – at the expense of the public media and their viewers and listeners. That is why we insist that the discussion and voting on the RTA changes be postponed for calmer days. and after a public discussion “, write the signatories of the letter.

They sharply criticize Emil Koshlukov:

Currently, BNT is managed by a director general with a dubious professional qualification for the position. His actions show that he is guided not by the desire to reform public television and increase its audience, but by personal motives and revanchism, constantly provoking scandals. His statements demonstrate a lack of normative, media and communicative competence.

For a short time BNT lost the authority it gained with the objectivity, dialogue and directing of the program topics to our viewers without political and power dependence.
We also turn to our colleagues at BNT – remember how in 2013 the television was applauded for its professionalism, and today its reporters are ostracized. Not because of their qualities, which are indisputable, but because of the loss of trust, because of the suspicions of serving interests that have nothing to do with its public function. This is happening during and because of the government of Mr. Koshlukov.

The letter ends with a request for the resignation of the Director General:

Mr. Koshlukov,
We also turn to you. At the moment, the issue is not the issue of extending your term of office, but your resignation. The sooner this happens, the sooner BNT will recover as a public service broadcaster and regain the trust of its many viewers.

The open letter was signed by eight former and current “Benetites”, most of them with many years of experience in television, followed by a dramatic separation. Among them are former CEO Ulyana Prumova, former CEM member and chairwoman Maria Stoyanova, a longtime journalist at BNT and a former correspondent in Germany, suddenly recalled by CEO Koshlukov; sports journalist Kamen Alipiev – who after years of working at “San Stefano” 29 did not know how he found himself without the necessary education and had to leave. The host of the suspended cultural show “Piano Bar” Night Birds “Iskra Angelova, the economic journalist Mario Gavrilov, whose contract was not renewed after its expiration, the host of” Faith and Society “Goran Blagoev; Robert Kovachev, who until 2018 Boyko Stankushev – also a former staff member of the television and Kamelia Doncheva – head of the Software Department until April 2020, etc. is the main producer of “Internal Productions” in BNT.

We publish the full text of the letter:

Open letter for BNT as a public media and for the resignation of the general director Emil Koshlukov

Dear viewers, dear friends!

When thousands of you fill the central squares of cities, when civil society rebels in the name of values ​​such as justice, equality before the law and freedom of speech, a draft amendment to the Radio and Television Act (RTA) is suddenly submitted to the National Assembly.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media is in a hurry with changes that replace the criteria for the professional experience of the Director General of BNT (Article 66, paragraph 1); which increase his term of office from three to five years (Art. 66 para. 2); preconditions are created for the members of the Council for electronic media to become more and more dependent (deletion of sentences in art. 29, para 1 and 2). Importing them at this very moment creates the compulsive feeling that something is being done quickly and in the dark again – at the expense of the public media and their viewers and listeners. That is why we insist that the discussion and voting on the changes in the RTA be postponed for calmer days, after a public discussion.

We are puzzled and ask who needs and is it necessary to make such controversial changes right now? Are they necessary to ensure the pluralism of views in the public media service provider? Will the proposals contribute to a more objective awareness of the audience? Will they make the CEM regulator more independent?

Currently, BNT is managed by a director general with a dubious professional qualification for the position. His actions show that he is guided not by the desire to reform public television and increase its audience, but by personal motives and revanchism, constantly provoking scandals. His statements demonstrate a lack of normative, media and communicative competence.

For a short time BNT lost the authority it gained with the objectivity, dialogue and directing of the program topics to our viewers without political and power dependence.

We also turn to our colleagues at BNT – remember how in 2013 the television was applauded for its professionalism, and today its reporters are ostracized. Not because of their qualities, which are indisputable, but because of the loss of trust, because of the suspicions of serving interests that have nothing to do with its public function. This is happening during and because of the government of Mr. Koshlukov.

Ladies and gentlemen, do not be afraid to raise your voice in defense of the truth. There is no way to serve the public interest if we are enslaved to fear, censorship or self-censorship.

Mr. Koshlukov,

We also turn to you. At the moment, the issue is not the issue of extending your term of office, but your resignation. The sooner this happens, the sooner BNT will recover as a public service broadcaster and regain the trust of its many viewers. Our professional journalistic conscience does not leave us indifferent to the calls for your resignation, which Bulgarian citizens / viewers make in front of the BNT building. Such appeals have not been heard at San Stefano 29 for thirty years, but since you were appointed to senior positions at BNT – first as a programmer and then as CEO – they have become more frequent. Do you think that in this way the prestige of a social media with a 60-year history is built and strengthened?

This position of ours is not an expression of revanchism. It’s just that more than once we have encountered your so-called management methods, Mr. Koshlukov.

We call for broad public support for all those who care about BNT.

Maria Stoyanova, Chair of the CEM (2016-2017), longtime BNT correspondent for Germany and Western Europe
Dr. Goran Blagoev, author, leading and executive producer of the show “Faith and Society”, host of the show “History.BG”, with 28 years of experience in BNT
Robert Kovachev, chief producer of Domestic Productions at BNT until 2018, author of the show “Referendum”, with 26 years of experience at BNT
Boryana Puncheva, director, with over 30 years of experience in BNT
Kamen Alipiev, sports commentator and executive producer at BNT, with 30 years of experience at BNT
Boyko Stankushev, publicist at BNT until 2015, director of the Anti-Corruption Fund
Ulyana Prumova, longtime journalist and director of BNT (2004-2010)
Mario Gavrilov, economic journalist, host of the show “Business.BG” until March 2020, with 22 years of experience in BNT
Kamelia Doncheva, Head of Software Assurance until April 2020, with 20 years of experience in BNT
Iskra Angelova, author, screenwriter and host of the show “Night Birds” until 2019.
Milena Getova, documentary filmmaker, director of the show “Night Birds”
Vesselin Apostolov, responsible operator of the show “Night Birds”
Oleg Ivanov, cameraman in the show “Night Birds” and in other programs on BNT
Ralitsa Filipova, longtime journalist and editor at the Children’s Edition of BNT
Emil Dimitrov, longtime director of “Tourism BG” on BNT

We support the open letter:

Teodor Ushev, animator

Prof. Lozan Mitev

Bishop Tikhon of Tiberius

Zahari Karabashliev, writer

Alexandrina Pendachanska, opera singer

Yavor Gardev, director

Assoc. Prof. Dilyan Nikolchev, Orthodox theologian

Evgeni Daynov, political scientist

Asen Avramov, composer

Archimandrite Nikanor, abbot of the Montenegrin monastery

Vesselin Kalanovski, actor, member of SOS

Lilia-Sofia Popgancheva, psychologist

Ivaylo Rogozinov, actor

Nayo Titsin, independent producer, former journalist at BNT

Dr. Kamen Danov, gastroenterologist, member of the Diocesan Council of the Sofia Metropolitanate

Dr. Valentin Yanev, civil activist

Darina Takova, opera singer

Stefan Ivanov, poet

Petko Slavov, vocalist and guitarist in the show “Night Birds” on BNT

Vyara Panteleeva, singer in the show “Night Birds” on BNT

Stefan Kutsarov, cameraman in the show “Night Birds” and in other programs on BNT

Martichka Bozhilova, producer

Boris Misirkov, operator

Georgi Bogdanov, operator

Kalin Terziiski, writer

Vasil Georgiev – The Patch, musician

Borislav Yotsov, musician and lecturer at the National Music Academy

Diana Andreeva – Popyordanova, director of the Observatory for Cultural Economics

Victor Lilov, publisher

Milena Kaneva, director

Diana Ivanova, DW journalist

Svetlana Damyanova, journalist, SFF

Vessela Cherneva, ECFR Director for Bulgaria

Ventsislav Blagoev, trumpet player, jazz musician

Veselin Veselinov – Eco, jazz bassist

Anton Karabashev, actor

Chavdar Tsolov, architect

Levena Lazarova, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of The Girls of the City

Snezhina Zdravkova, translator

Vasil Georgiev, writer

Kostadin Bonev, director

Hristo Poryazov, director and editor at BNT

Prof. Miglena Nikolchina, lecturer at Sofia University

Misho Shishkov, leader of the band “Night Birds”

Alek Popov, writer

Yuliana Metodieva, editor-in-chief and creator of the site Marginalia, journalist

Ivo Hristov, longtime host of “Little Stories” on BNT and adviser to the president

Aleko Dyankov, a longtime journalist at BNT

Daniela Gorcheva, journalist and public figure

Stefan Tafrov, diplomat

Georgi Gochev, lecturer at NBU

Nedko Solakov, artist

Lubomir Denev, composer

Aglika Georgieva, journalist

Georgi Gospodinov, writer

Stefan Tafrov, diplomat and politician

Petya Tetevenska, journalist



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