Laureate 2010: Assen Yordanov

Photo: Media Foundation

Assen Yordanov

is a freelance journalist from Bulgaria. Among other, he works for the newspapers Monitor and Dnewnik in Burgas. The Black Sea region is known for corruption and organized crime which also causes momentous environmental crimes. Yordanov reports about the grievances and is therefore exposed to great threats.

In Bulgarian media, Yordanov seems like "an UFO", says Reporters without Borders about him. "Journalism in Bulgaria is like a slalom with a snowboard at the Super-G. You are always bending and turning to avoid obstacles", Yordanov says about the difficult situation of the media in his country.

Bulgarian journalists are constantly exposed to abuses and threats, says Reporters without Borders. Yordanov has already experienced this at firsthand. In 2007 Yordanov and his colleague Maria Nikolaeva reported about a construction project in Bulgaria's largest wildlife park of Strandja. The journalists revealed that the construction violated Bulgarian law and that it had begun without a permission. A "precedent of corruption at the highest level of administration", says Yordanov. After the publication of the article Yordanov's colleague was threatened with acid. Then, Yordanov was beaten with iron bars by four criminals. However, he was not intimidated and he continues to publish critical articles.