WASHINGTON -- Following a decision to resume news coverage for audiences in Romania and Bulgaria after closing its doors there a decade ago, RFE/RL has announced the leadership for both services with plans to launch by year’s end in a bid to strengthen the media landscape in both countries.
“We are thrilled at the level of support we’ve met with locally, and take it as a vote of confidence that we have an important role to play,” said RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic. “Our hope, in both countries, is that our coverage can help the growth of a free press, promote public accountability and democratic institutions, and inform discussions about NATO, the EU and the West.”
In Romania, award-winning journalist Sabina Fati will be Managing Editor of the service, effective October 1. Fati previously worked for RFE/RL in Romania in the 1990s, and has continued reporting for RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service as a freelancer. From 2006-2017, she was deputy editor of Romania’s independent newspaper, Romania Libera. The author of several books and the recipient of several advanced degrees, she was recognized as one of Romania’s “Women of Courage” by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest in 2017 for “her selfless pursuit to promote transparency, anti-corruption, and human rights in Romania.”
Prominent journalist Ivan Bedrov will lead the Bulgarian Service starting October 15. Over the course of a 24-year career in Bulgarian media, Bedrov worked as a radio reporter for RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service in the late 1990s, and as a current affairs program producer and host for the country’s first private national TV station, bTV. Since 2014, he was deputy editor-in-chief of the leading news and analytical ClubZ.bg website; he has also worked as a political commentator for the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Bedrov is a member of the Bulgarian Commission for Journalism Ethics and the recipient of numerous journalism awards.
Both services will provide audiences with local, regional, and international news, expert analysis and original features, while serving as a platform for informed discussion and debate. Their operations, based out of bureaus in Bucharest and Sofia, will be entirely digital, with dedicated websites and active presences on leading social networks, and will place a premium on partnerships with other local, independent media.
RFE/RL previously served countries across Eastern Europe prior to their joining the European Union and NATO. Service to Bulgaria ended in 2004 and to Romania in 2008.