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A New TV Studio Complex Was Opened at the Sofia University Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication

The official opening of the TV studio complex, built with the financial support of Georgi Vasilev and “Studia Transmedia”, took place at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.

Official guests of the event were Professor Dr Habil Anastas Gerdzhikov, Rector of Sofia University, Professor Dr. Habil. Ivan Ilchev, Corresponding Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Alma mater TV, Maria Furtounova, Director of University Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science, Ekaterina Genova, Director of Bulgarian National Television, World and Regions Directorate, representatives of Evropa TV, and the Military TV Channel, faculty from New Bulgarian University, etc. Among the guests were deans, deputy deans, directors of units involved in TV activities, faculty, and students.

The studio equipment belongs to the last generation of digital technology of the FULL HD format. It has three digital studio TV cameras at its disposal, two of them operating with electronic readers. The studio lighting is in digital regime.

The digital video and audio mixing consoles provide the possibility of high quality in the realization of TV production. The overall information is conducted through internal network connected to three video-assembly control rooms. The teams also work with a three mobile camera set for the shooting of documentaries.


The IVth year BA students majoring in “TV Journalism” and the MA students majoring in “Electronic Media” will work in a real-life medium and participate in the creation of program lines for Alma mater TV on the national air together with the team of the Alma mater National University Television.

The Alma mater National University TV is licensed by the Council of Electronic Media as a program for education, culture and youth policies with national coverage and for public benefit.


The Alma mater TV broadcasts its program lines on the frequency wavelengths of Bulgarian National Television, Evropa TV, Bulgaria on Air, and the Military TV Channel.

In 2016, in partnership with BNT Regions and BNT World new program lines, Alma mater Discussion Studio, Science and Education Journal and European University TV Network, will go on the air.

Being a project of national importance, the establishment of an educational channel as part of the multiprogram development of public TV, is envisaged.

The ultimate goal of Alma mater TV is to position the channel by January, 2017, on the state-owned multiplex and launch programs of education, culture and youth activities in the media space.


Associate professor Svetlana Bozhilova, Director of Alma mater TV, said that it had been some years before when students of TV journalism, currently well-known names in e-journalism and public space, had come up with the idea of setting up a student TV, similar to those in Europe and the USA. “No one ever believed that that would come true because investments in culture, education and youth activities were meager. I must also mention that although the University was the leading and most reputable institution in this country, the latter did not have the resources to start broadcasting such a program“.

The team sought help from the European Commission, from the Ministry of Education and Science, and with funds from various European projects it started providing equipment for the technological complex to bring it up to the level of 18 other university media in Europe. Associate professor Bozhilova expressed her hope that soon, with the assistance of BNT full-fledged TV channel for education, culture and youth policies would be materialized.


She stressed that the TV is of national coverage, works for the public benefit, and broadcasts on several TVs – BNT, Evropa TV, Bulgaria on Air, the Military TV Channel – and added that Bulgaria is the only member state of the European Union which does not have a specialized channel for education, culture and youth policies, and expressed her hope that with the joint efforts of all universities in the country such a program will be set up for the active, young and educated citizens of the country. The TV team partners with colleagues from the European student TV network: universities from the UK, high schools in journalism in Paris and Lille, the universities of Meinz and Leipzig, and, on the “Erasmus+” program, with five other universities affiliated to the University of Turin.

Associate professor Bozhilova thanked those who actively supported the construction of the complex and, generally, the establishment of Alma mater TV in the national and regional space: Professor Ilchev, former Rector of Sofia University and currently Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the TV, Professor Anastas Gerdzhikov, Rector of the University, the donor Georgi Vasilev, who invested €282 000 in the complex, and Bulgarian National Television.


Professor Dr Habil Ivan Ilchev, Corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, remarked that Alma mater TV owes its existence to the enthusiasm of those who had participated in it. He also expressed his gratitude to Georgi Vasilev and all those people who had invested in the future of the country.

Professor Ilchev pointed out that the previous years had been far from propitous neither for the TV, nor for the young people who worked for it: their enthusiasm had gone through peaks and troughs, and yet, in the long run, there is a TV today that broadcasts regularly. In his words, at the moment the University team is working on a Project for the setting up of a Center for top achievements in the domain of the creative and recreative industries wherein the Alma mater National Student TV will be one of its cornerstones.


Professor Ivan Ilchev thanked all those who had helped Alma mater TV for the past years. “For the eight year period, in my capacity as a Rector, I got convinced that few were those who helped but, unfortunately, as compensation, many were those who stood in our way. The good thing is that, as a rule, the enthusiasm of those who helped overruled the pessimism of those who stood in our way”, Professor Ilchev added and wished success to his colleagues in their undertaking.

Georgi Vasilev presented the main motives behind his decision to make the present donation. He pointed out that many a time he had been witness to conversations and discussions about the absence of a civil society in this country. In his words, this act of charity must be seen as an activity of the civil society. He expressed his hope that the launching of such a project for public educational TV would be taken up and supported by the future generations. Georgi Vasilev said that behind the fruition of that charitable activity there had stood the work of a brilliant team from Transmedia Studia that had been working in close cooperation with their counterparts from Sofia University: Associate professor Bozhilova, Professor Ilchev, and Professor Gerdzhikov.


A stimulus for the donation was the very nature of such a television, Georgi Vasilev pointed out. According to the project, this is a public TV which aims at developing educational programs making mostly use of resources from the academic community, predominantly those from Sofia University: “I hope that Alma mater TV, with the support of Sofia University, will turn into a yet another strong factor that will help Bulgarian society become ever more dynamic, more prospering, a society it deserves to be”.


Ekaterina Genova, Director of the BNT World and Regions Directorate, extended her genuine congratulations to the people who had worked through the years for that studio to come into being, and to the students who would have the pleasure to work in it. She noted that the most natural partner of a student TV and of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication was Bulgarian National Television – the public media. The partnership is realized not only by the number of graduates of the Faculty who work for the TV; the creative indicators back up the tendency, too. She reminded that, for two years, BNT 2 and BNT World had been broadcasting the Atelie Program which had been set for broadcasting at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University. Ekaterina Genova expressed her hope that the new studio would be the source of new programs of student and youth topics that would go on the air of BNT, and they would enjoy good public attention and be of high quality content.


Ekaterina Genova pointed out that, related to the global economic crisis, the world analysts had warned that one of the most efficient ways out of financial crises is education: “Today, investors put their money in education and educational technologies. In this line of reasoning, the members of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication and of Sofia University have been true visionaries in investing in education, and, as far as Mr. Vasilev is concerned, I would like to say that his was not a donation; this is, in fact, an investment in the education of our colleagues”.

Ms. Genova expressed her hope that in the new studio the students and future colleagues would uphold the standards of the journalistic profession, seek truth and present all points of view, even when they do not favor them, and would never be tempted to go in for private, corporative, and political interests.


Professor Dr Habil Anastas Gerdzhikov, Rector of Sofia University, addressed the audience and congratulated them with the opening of the new studio. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Vasilev for his lavish donation. “I would also like to thank all those who, with their unflagging work, during all those many years, brought the hope of a channel into fruition, a realization of our piecemeal attempts that became a channel, a systematic program for education, culture, and youth policies“, the Rector said.

Professor Gerdzhikov stressed that the student TV should target not only the young people but also all the inquisitive people who had remained young in spirit because at any age man is eager to learn something new.


“I wish success to the present undertaking with the support of our serious partner – Bulgarian National Television. This is because we share the common interest that our society receive what it needs, the spiritual food it needs and not a substitute“, the Rector was to add.

Maria Furtounova, Director of the University Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science, congratulated the audience on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science, and personally on Minister Meglena Kouneva’s behalf on the occasion of opening the new studio. She said that the complex was the right step in the direction of improving the practical teaching of students and wished them “Bon voyage!“.