Meanwhile, on Monday evening the reporter Dimitur Vurbanov received the prize of shame, the Golden Skunk
“I was outraged, both as a reporter and as a person, that tons of foods were lying around there, and the warehouse kept functioning – therefore, these spoiled foods could easily reach end customers”, Vurbanov said.
He added that his actions were not premeditated and then sought forgiveness for his inability to control himself under the circumstances. “I’d like to apologize to all my colleagues. To you Bobby, to the cameraman, to all fellow reporters and to the entire team of the ‘Masters of Broadcast’, to our producers and, last but not least, to our viewers.”
Dimitur Vurbanov explained why he had acted like that. “Once on the spot, I lost control over my feelings and actions. I knew that there were surveillance cameras there, I saw them. If I truly meant to stage the whole thing, do you believe that I would do it so clumsily, with 12 years of experience behind my back? As early as the next day I said that I wasn’t beaten up. “There’s no such thing, look at me – they just shoved me and pushed me around.” All I wanted was to prevent this warehouse from selling spoiled foods”, the fired reporter added.
“The reporters and our entire team bear huge responsibility before you (the audience). Therefore, we must be uncompromising whenever the core principles of journalism are violated.”, remarked the host Maria Ignatova following the Skunk prize video.
“This scandal made many of our ‘friends’ rejoice. You can’t wipe the wide grins off their faces these days”, the other host added.
“We’re happy to have gladdened all our past and future personages, but they’d be wrong to think that Dimitur’s gaffe sets them free. Two wrongs don’t make a right”, Ignatova concluded.
Part of that issue was dedicated to the reaction of Rumyana Arnaudova, speaker of the Prosecutor General. “It turned out that it was staged. Unfortunately, the prosecution was misled. This is absolutely inadmissible”, she said on September 28th. The Masters of Broadcast aired her words and then showed past reports of cases which were successfully referred to the prosecution and others which were ignored by the institutions.
According to the MoB producer Judy Halvadjiyan, the media distorted the case and blew it out of proportion, because the MoB team never claimed that Vurbanov had been battered.
“We never claimed that he was beaten up. Let everyone check the archive and see for themselves. We can’t be held accountable for the bombastic headlines on some news sites. The problem is that, since Vurbanov didn’t tell us the truth either, our hands were tied – we were in no position to deny everything. Because there truly was a clash with the guards, they did kick him out of the warehouse and this is what we showed. It is a pity that Vurbanov has worked for the Masters of Broadcast for so many years and has helped so many people, he has alerted countless institutions and made them do their job. Unfortunately though, this is the least of all considerations right now”, Halvadjiyan said in an interview with the 24 Hours newspaper.
Halvadjiyan also objected against the ‘incessant” reprimands levied against the Masters of Broadcast. People already recognize them as an institution because of the investigative journalism badly in dearth elsewhere, as the guild has been comatose for a very long time, he added.
“Why don’t the myriad of journalists ask themselves this question… the ones who play the ‘righteous indignation’ card against us. All of a sudden, they got on the moral high horse and started preaching about professional code of conduct, when they haven’t produced anything but tourism-and-travel reports for years already. The guild is long dead but they shouldn’t point a finger at us. They only have themselves to blame for giving up, for letting others boss them around, for having no spine. This is the truth. We, on the other hand, demonstrate our position every single day, on all topics. This is why some people criticize us
we are inconvenient. But we have always boasted a position and we will not abandon it. In such circumstances, the rats rear their heads, the ones on whose toes we’ve stepped. Right now they feel supported and confident and they start explaining how the same thing happened to them. How ridiculous!”, the producer of Masters of Broadcast added.