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Balkan Information Pool (BIP)


Balkan information pool (BIP) is a non-profit association, incorporated by Rule of the Sofia City Court on 08.07.1991. Members of BIP are daily papers with established traditions and authority in their area and a minimum of five years of presence on the Bulgarian media market.

BIP is also a founder of the ABNA - Association of the Balkan News Agencies, whose members are the Anatolian Agency, Athens News Agency (Athens), TANJUG (Belgrade), Rompres (Bucharest), Albanian Telegraph Agency (Tirana), Macedonian News Agency (Skopje), Macedonian Press Agency (Thessaloniki), BTA (Sofia). This organization played an important part in the improvement of the information climate on the Balkans.

Many times during the past decade of its existence, the Balkan Information Pool has organized meetings of editors-in-chief of the Bulgarian regional daily papers - members of BIP - with the Presidents of Bulgaria, the Prime Ministers and the Parliament Speakers, with ministers, public figures etc. “Journalist raids” have been organized many times to the hottest spots on the Balkans - Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, also Greece, Turkey, Romania. The association has an established authority among the Bulgarian public, it protects its members interests - on its initiative many issues related to the activity of the regional press were settled. For example, at the insistence of BIP Ivan Kostov's government solved a fundamental problem, which existed for 10 years - concerning the wider distribution of the regional press. The company for Press Distribution received a discount in accordance to the newspapers' and their readers' interests and not the way it used to be - only in its own, departmental interest.

The Balkan Information Pool also issues a daily newsletter in English language - Diplomatic Journal - Newsletter, which subscribers are accredited in Bulgaria foreign diplomatic missions, international financial institutions, banks and other. It comes out on 15 pages every morning at 9 o'clock. Besides the detailed review of the morning press in the capital, the newsletter also contains the news from Bulgaria in the last 24 hours, the relations of the Sofia's state authorities with the European union and NATO, with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, business information and analyses, publications regarding the privatization deals as well as other topics of the present day. The newsletter is circulated by e-mail.

During the past several years these activities of BIP also defined the agency's profile:

1. Working with the Bulgarian regional press in the sphere of information service and co-ordination.

2. Providing information about Bulgaria for the foreign mass media and for the diplomatic corps, foreign - in Sofia and Bulgarian - abroad.

3. Co-ordination of the information from Bulgaria for the Balkan media, mainly for Macedonia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Greece. Along these lines, especially active are the contacts of BIP with the official Macedonian News Agency, the Macedonian Ministry of Information and with some of the central media in Skopje.

4. A series of successful visits are made by information functionaries from the Balkan countries at the invitation of BIP. Particularly successful was the visit of the Yugoslavian Minister of Information, Ratomir Vitzo, as the guest of BIP, the Macedonian Ministers of Information, the Minister of Northern Greece, the director-general of the Albanian Telegraph Agency etc.