site.btaVP Iotova: Freedom of Speech Is at the Heart of Our Human Freedom
"It is an understatement to say that freedom of speech is at the heart of our human freedom and is the condition without which democracy is impossible, Vice Iliana Iotova said in her address to the participants in the 18th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media, organized by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) in Kazanlak.
She pointed out that the theme of the meeting "Media and Freedom" is very suitable for today's times. "It is always topical, but today - even more topical. Today, on [Bulgarian revolutionary and freedom fighter Hristo] Botev's Day, because Botev's name always evokes in us the thought of freedom," the Vice President said.
"Democracy is a word that nowadays, just like many other words, we are about to empty of content, so let us think about what it means to speak freely and to speak to a free audience, Iotova said.
In her words, criticism of journalists is often related to their freedom. "They say: 'You are not free to speak, you are dependent. You are dependent on finance, on your owners, on political parties, on institutions and what not. Let's think today about the other side of that coin - whether those who read us, who listen to us, who watch our television programmes, are free enough. And isn't it time to think about other qualitative dimensions - such as integrity, such as looking in the mirror, not only how beautiful and smart you are, but thinking about whether you are really an honest person," the Vice President said. "We can only be free people if our hearts, souls and thoughts are free, if we are strong enough to ask ourselves how free we are," she said.
Iliana Iotova addressed BTA's team and Director General Kiril Valchev by saying: "It's only you who can gather representatives of so many Bulgarian media abroad, to invite your colleagues from leading news agencies. In recent years BTA and the colleagues from the Bulgarian National Radio have done something that for decades governments, politicians, majorities, parliaments, agencies have failed to do - to empower Bulgarians abroad," she said. "By supporting the Bulgarian media, by giving publicity to what the people think, the Bulgarians abroad, you, in fact, give them power, because they need to be heard," Iotova added.
The Vice President also expressed her gratitude to the Mayor of Kazanlak Galina Stoyanova.
BTA is organizing the 18th World Meeting of the Bulgarian Media in Kazanlak on June 1-4 2023 with the assistance of Kazanlak Municipality, National Endowment Fund “13 Centuries Bulgaria” , Aurubis Bulgaria, POC Doverie, Postbank, A1 and Nestle Bulgaria.