Parliament Unanimously Adopts BTA's 2018 Activity Report
107 POLITICS - PARLIAMENT - BTA - REPORT
Adopts BTA's 2018
July 17 (BTA) - Bulgaria's Parliament Wednesday voted, 110-0, to adopt unanimously the 2018 Activity Report of the Bulgarian News Agency's (BTA), including an annual financial statement.
The report notes that BTA celebrated it 120th anniversary in 2018, making it one of the world's ten oldest news agencies. The 14th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media Abroad, organized by BTA in Skopje last year, is also included in the report.
The national news agency distributes close to 1,000 news items daily and between 2,000 and 3,000 photographs from Bulgaria and the rest of the world. BTA employs 31 full-time correspondents in all large regional centres across Bulgaria. It is also affiliated to all international news agencies associations and is a founding member of some.
Over 80 per cent of the news that reaches the Bulgarian public via the various media outlets has BTA as its initial source, the report says. The Agency's journalistic content is generated by its own reporters and uses the feed of national and world news agencies by subscription.
The report reiterates the two most serious problems for BTA which also face many agencies across the world. The first major issue is the unauthorized use of BTA's products, which infringes the Copyrights Act and negatively impacts the Agency's financial revenues. The second problem is the miscrediting of the source of information by clients who have signed a partnership agreement with BTA, which damages the Agency's reputation and diminishes its scope.
According to BTA's financial statement, the Agency's 2018 budget amounted to 6,484,600 leva (4,852,600 leva State budget transfer and 1,632,000 leva own revenue). The own revenues decreased by 8 per cent, year-on-year. Expenditures in 2018 totalled 6,853,000 leva.
Slavcho Atanassov MP of United Patriots noted that the allocation of budget funding to the public media was grossly unbalanced and called for an increase of BTA's budget this coming autumn. He said that the Agency is represented in all regional capitals and has opened press clubs in Moldova and the Western Outlands (Southeastern Serbia).
Ivan Chenchev MP of BSP for Bulgaria seconded Atanassov's appeal, noting that not a single fake news story has originated from BTA. He sees the fact that the Agency operates on the available funding and generates its own revenue as an indication of its good management.
National Assembly Culture and Media Committee Deputy Chair Diana Savateva MP of GERB said that she was most impressed by the fact that not a single news item originating from BTA has been disputed in the past year which, in her words, deserves credit, especially considering the daily concerns over fake news. Savateva explained that the matter of financing will be considered in the coming months together with the budget. She called for starting a discussion about the work of the public media. RY/MY