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REINVENTING STUDENT JOURNALISM.

  • Writer's pictureMaia Srear

Interviewing the Interviewer.

Updated: Jan 30

BTS. From a more personal standpoint, yesterday we got to experience the very rush of journalistic excitement we yearn to gain from projects at ISBTV. As the executive producer, and someone who enjoys correcting people, I tend to reword my teammates’ articles, yet I’d like our readers to find below a raw, compelling perspective written by Maia Sraer while interviewing a correspondent from a very well-established, vehement news agency.


“Today, we had the esteemed opportunity to meet with Martina Gancheva, a distinguished journalist representing the Bulgarian News Agency, currently stationed in Romania with the pivotal objective of apprising the Bulgarian public of the unfolding events in this region. Alongside Miss Gancheva, the agency also has other correspondents from Bulgaria in several countries such as Turkey and Serbia. Renowned as the oldest media organization in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian News Agency boasts an illustrious history dating back 125 years. Despite the fact they initially used written mediums as the exclusive method of publication, in recent years the agency has expanded to other areas such as broadcasting and having social media presence.  While the aspect of speed may seem an ordinary attribute in journalism, it unequivocally assumes a paramount role in the dynamic realm of media, a sentiment passionately endorsed by Miss. Gancheva. She articulated that speed stands as one of the most prized facets of the journalistic profession. In an environment where the trajectory of events remains constantly unpredictable, excelling in a domain characterized by the swift occurrence of a multitude of developments is dependent upon both the rapidity of action and the adeptness to respond promptly. 


In tandem with the principle that knowledge has no limits, so does the ability to reach new information which explains the variety of audiences the Bulgarian News agency targets. Ranging from 18-60 years old, allowing them to have a broad spectrum when publishing but also when providing other Bulgarian media agencies with information. The theme of variety is simultaneously translated into the topics The Bulgarian News Agency touches upon. Namely: national and international politics, communities around the world, and sports. Particularly noteworthy is their segment dedicated to global communities around the world, a secession that has gained significant praise under its uniqueness and distinctive approach in the media landscape.”


Note: We also had the foresight to ask if they offer any support for up-and-coming young journalistic minds. Answer; they do. Half of BNA’s marketing team are freshly out of school students, who create content with some of the most prominent experts in the field. 


“When asked to address the prevailing issue of declining trust in the media Miss Gancheva had a clear answer which she called ‘The Golden Rule’. In essence, all journalists at the Bulgarian News Agency follow a fundamental guideline: they adhere to strictly reporting facts, excluding emotion and personal opinions outside of the equation. This behavior ensures unbiased and accurate information is transmitted to their audience. By following this simple yet effective code of conduct, coupled  with their rich reservoir of experience, the Bulgarian News Agency has successfully secured a highly trusted position in the eyes of other Bulgarian media and has ensured that any organization relying on their  information can rest assured.”


We took a particular interest in the topic of misinformation, specifically given the recent state of political turmoil that impacts the Romanian demographic. “How did you ensure the accuracy and safety of the correspondents you sent in Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian Crisis?” While BNA employees are trained to respond immediately to such events, they make sure to accredit all sources of information before publication. As regards safety, we’re glad to say that the occupational hazards they face have been addressed in several informative training sessions, preparing journalists for any given obstacle. 


On a lighter note, we wouldn’t be ISBTV if we did not ask, “If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?”.

To my surprise, the answer came out decisively and rapidly. Two words. “President Iohannis.”

“How so?” We were later given a history of his disliking of the press and discussing his personal life with the media. The end of the interview came fast, we thanked our guest for her time and went on home, yet once again I remembered why we do this. A passion for passion.


An article written in collaboration with Martina Gancheva, the Bulgarian News Agency, Maia Sraer, and Violeta Banica.


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