The Sofia Globe: A statement from the Editor-in-Chief

Written by on March 16, 2021 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on The Sofia Globe: A statement from the Editor-in-Chief

At this writing, there are 1438 stories on the website of The Sofia Globe about the Covid-19 crisis.

The Sofia Globe has not been exempt from the effects of that crisis. We remain online only because of the support of our loyal remaining advertisers and those very few who have chosen to support us through donations, directly or via Patreon or Paypal. In point of fact, we remain viable, in the main, because our own earnings as individuals through other gigs go, in part, to keeping our website online, those earnings which we can barely spare so as to provide food for the tables of our households.

The Sofia Globe is not part of a media conglomerate. We do not receive funding from any foreign foundation. We have no link to the Bulgarian government, nor is any funding funnelled to us via that government.

The Sofia Globe is 100 per cent owned, and always has been, by a foreigner – myself – and is staffed by a tiny team of foreigners who wearily get up every morning to hold aloft the embattled flag of independent, objective, relevant and accurate journalism.

Like other media websites, we have a Facebook page. We appreciate greatly the likes and shares. But I must add that personally, it is tiresome never to be able to relax at any hour of the day or night, on any day of the week, lest I shirk from the task of deleting disinformation posted there.

Nor is it any less tiresome to deal with, as I did today, posts that confuse that which the Bulgarian government says, with that which The Sofia Globe says. If we report that the Bulgarian government says that the Covid-19 crisis is under control, that does not mean that The Sofia Globe is saying that. The distinction should be clear to the reader who is literate, who is neither disingenuous nor mischievous; but not always do such considerations apply.

It is equally tiresome to be addressed as if we are the Bulgarian government, or somehow connected to it. It is not our role to defend that government, nor to be its detractors; any venture into those would be clearly and ethically marked as opinion pieces, not presented as news stories. Those roles, defender and detractor, belong to others, not to an independent news website. We are the narrators, not the actors. In short: The Sofia Globe does not run the country, has no wish to, so addressing us as if we do is simply not only annoying, but pointless.

I have been a journalist for more than four decades, and most recently, the decade in which the use of the emoticon, the ill-thought-through comment, the reaction to the headline without having read the article, on Facebook, enjoy egregious reign. A reign none of us enjoys. A reign in which every slap to our efforts is dispiriting.

At the same time, I and The Sofia Globe remain every day at the service of our readers who read our stories, comprehend and digest them, and hopefully go forward, their lives enhanced by our efforts; that is our purpose; to empower our readers with information that is relevant and really useful. For many years, my colleagues have heard from me that, were we running a factory that turns fish into cat food, our priority is to please not the fish, but the cats.

We are not exempt from criticism; suggestions and requests are welcome. Language is a great tool; emoticons and mindless abuse, less so. And again, please do not address me, or us, as if we are running the country. I, and we, do not, and have no wish to.

With thanks, fond regards and wishes for good health,

Clive Leviev-Sawyer, owner, founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Sofia Globe

The Sofia Globe has no connection whatsoever to any Bulgarian government or state institution, nor to any Bulgarian political, business or media grouping. If you would like to support independent coverage of Bulgaria, please consider supporting The Sofia Globe via its Patreon account, for as little as three euro a month, or the equivalent in other major currencies:

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About the Author

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via amazon.com, and has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.