The Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) is an independent national news organization of the Republic of Bulgaria. Its status is defined in the BTA Act.
Under the BTA Act the Agency gathers, processes, stores, and distributes information from Bulgaria and around the world in Bulgarian and does the same with information from Bulgaria and the Balkan region in English.
BTA presents impartially, objectively, fully, accurately, authentically, ethically, in good faith and in a timely manner the entire spectre of events and opinions from Bulgaria and everywhere else, which is an indicator that the Agency operates in a democratic country.
BTA’s mission is to gather and distribute knowledge about the present day, to preserve that knowledge for the future, and to help us remember the knowledge from the past.
BTA’s vision of the future is the achievement of five strategic goals that each can be summarized in a single word:
A strategic goal of BTA is to distribute its own news products for free, so that anyone, no matter their physical location, could have equal access to the news.
The National Assembly adopted amendments to the BTA Act that were published in the State Gazette on March 9, 2021, that provided for BTA to start distributing information for free to a significantly wider range of persons and to offer free access to all its information products. Up until then, institutions, individuals, and entities (with very few exceptions) paid BTA to be provided with information, although having this information distributed would benefit the public and despite BTA's non-commercial nature.
Information is a right, not a commodity. The right to access information is guaranteed to all Bulgarian citizens, under article 41, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria. BTA is an instrument to exercise this right, since private media do not have the obligation to distribute information. All media can benefit from the greater quantity of freely available information. Their key responsibility is to extract news from BTA's vast stream of information, to arrange that news by significance, to place the highlights in the news, to make connections between them, to analyze and comment.
To achieve this strategic goal, Bulgaria must guarantee freedom of speech by making sure that BTA itself remains independent from money and influence. BTA as an agency belongs to Bulgaria and its people. It is not a government information service. The main guarantor of its independence is the National Assembly, which defines the agency's budget, elects its head, examines and adopts its report. BTA has a duty to present Bulgaria's authentic image to everyone, with the meaningful public debates taking place in the country, and not the propaganda. Both people here and around the world should be able to see Bulgaria as a free and democratic country.
BTA's strategic goal is to distribute the real news.
Real news is the most effective mechanism to counter fake news and disinformation.
In today's world, where lies spread freely through technologies that are getting progressively more advanced, and truth is often paid for, the only way to counter the lies is the free distribution of the truth. As it is written in the Gospel of John, "the truth shall make you free".
This goal requires BTA to check and guarantee that its news is always factchecked and reliable.
A strategic goal of BTA's is to share more information about today with Bulgaria and the rest of the world.
This goal can be accomplished through the continuous development of the themes, territories and forms of the news disseminated by BTA.
The programme includes three special topics in BTA's information: culture, science and education; economy; environment, climate and the green transition. Up until now, the only "thematic" editorial, other than the ones organized by territory (Home News, International News, English Service), was Sports News. The re-establishment of the LIK magazine additionally works to meet the needs for cultural information in the Bulgarian media.
The territorial development is aimed towards strengthening the correspondent network in each regional city of Bulgaria, setting up press clubs in all neighbouring countries, and spreading a worldwide network of meaningful partnerships with the national agencies of other countries. That would turn BTA into a platform for information originating from across the country and the world at the service of all Bulgarian media, which cannot afford the cost or have no interest in the logistical effort of maintaining such a network.
Setting up press clubs in Serbia, Romania, Greece, Turkey, and the Republic of North Macedonia will allow BTA to develop as a Balkan information agency.
The content and the form of BTA's news sees development through improvement of the articles quality, further penetration of photo and video in the information flow, as well as through using new distribution channels, including social media.
BTA is committed to disseminating knowhow about the professional standards and ethical norms in journalism to benefit all Bulgarian media and to improve the media literacy of all Bulgarians, thus helping them distinguish between the real and fake news.
A strategic goal of BTA's is to continue to grow into a bridge between all Bulgarians in the world.
Reaching this goal goes through the provision of information about the lives of Bulgarians living outside Bulgaria, as well as informing those Bulgarians about events in the country.
To reach the strategic goal of establishing a community of Bulgarians living around the world, BTA will continue to support the Bulgarian media operating abroad.
Since BTA's first bulletin was published on February 16, 1898, a strategic goal of the Agency has been the preservation of Bulgaria's memories in BTA's news feed archives.
BTA has had a documentation service since 1934. The Agency's Reference Library boasts the most extensive thematic archive in the country.
BTA also has the largest photo archive in Bulgaria.
Part of preserving the memory is the conservation and renovation of the BTA's historic building in Sofia. Investing in it also means improved working conditions for the Agency's current employees.
The history of BTA is intertwined with Bulgaria's national memory, which is why the programme provides activities and steps for the public to get acquainted with the Agency. A particularly good time for that will be 2023, when BTA is celebrating 125 years since it was founded.