Prominent Journalist Discusses Objective Reporting

January 30, 2014

The role of the reporter in an environment dominated by propaganda and bias was in focus at AUBG this week. One of the most popular faces in Bulgarian television, Boyko Vassilev, spoke on the topic of “Media and Global Conspiracy” in the packed Andrey Delchev Auditorium. The inspiring meeting, which lured many Journalism and Mass Communications and Political Science students, was organized by Asen Dimitrov from the President’s Office and Cosmina Tanasoiu, a Professor of  European Studies at AUBG.

Boyko Vassilev is a world renowned journalist, war correspondent and currently the host of “Panorama” - the most popular political talk show in Bulgaria, and as such has had the chance to interview some of the most influential figures in world’s politics, society and culture.

“As a journalist you should always doubt…” he began his presentation, sharing moments from his experience as a war correspondent in former Yugoslavia during the 90’s. “Sometimes even your own eyes could mislead you”. The particular example he had in mind was that of a bombing victim he mistakenly reported to be younger than she was, just because, in an attempt to get closer to the truth, he rushed to the site of the atrocity, instead of waiting for the official press release.  “Although reflecting reality, pictures can be deceiving too”, continued Mr. Vasilev, further referring to instances from his practice where photos will very often show only one side of a conflict. 

“Paradoxically, opinions, if you collect a good variety of them, from different sides and angles, can be more objective” went on the speaker and later on concluded that as a journalist, and a person who stands for the objective representation of reality, one should bring balance, inform the public of what they see through the words they hear. Before presenting something to the wider public, one should doubt the sources, doubt everything they know, dig deep to find out the truth and think about what it is in the picture that would make people assume wrong.

Expectedly, the fascinated audience engaged actively in the Q&A session which followed, with Mr. Vassilev being urged to share opinions on various topics, including Balkan media, censorship and conspiracy theories. Coming from someone with such a rich professional resume and personal charisma, the concepts introduced by the speaker might as well be regarded as a part of a valuable master-class for the future journalists and political analysts in the auditorium.

Story by Emilija Naumoska
Photos by Yana Aladzhova

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