More than 10 years after the launch of ever-growing website sofiaecho.com, it will now solely carry the flag for The Sofia Echo.
As a sign of the times, rather in the way it has reflected realities in all the years since 1997, The Sofia Echo newspaper is to make way for what will be an online-only operation, carrying on the proud traditions established by this paper and its staff in close to 15 years.
For a number of years, the stories in the newspaper and the exclusive content online have been written and edited by a unified editorial team. From now on, all content will be posted online on a site that has become a respected and often-quoted brand name and that has a loyal following of daily readers as well as a growing number of unique visitors.
The newspaper may be passing into fond memory but the type of coverage it has offered – intended to be in-depth and explanatory – will continue on sofiaecho.com. This is not to say that nothing will change, as plans are afoot to strengthen what is conveyed to our thousands of readers online.
Born in the turbulent times of crisis in April 1997, the newspaper has recorded every major turning point in Bulgaria’s modern history, every triumph, tragedy and trauma. Its staff always have been proud to do so objectively, calmly and professionally, always bearing in mind the needs of our readers. This is one of the traditions that we intend to uphold in the future – while taking full advantage of the benefits of the immediacy and topicality made possible by the internet.
The trend to people getting their news online is well-known. This has been the key reason for the steady growth in readership of sofiaecho.com. To serve those readers, and taking a look at the kind of stories and themes that interest them, more coverage that offers not just the hurried verbiage of a news story but that augments this with depth, insight and explanation is clearly needed. The newsroom motto of The Sofia Echo, for many years, has been the single word "explain". With this mandate, coverage by our editorial staff and the wider resources on which we can draw will develop and deepen in the years to come.
Naturally, editorial staff past and present are likely to feel a twinge at the passing of our beloved newspaper (for some sentimental reflections on this, please see pages 9 to 11
and pages 14 and 15
) but in the modern world of media, we are not alone in undergoing such a transition. Looking back at everything that has been done by the newspaper so far, and our inside pages include just a small sample of some of the momentous events that have been covered, it is striking how in the career of The Sofia Echo, Bulgaria, the region and the world at large have changed. There is a sense that the story is far from over, perhaps even only just beginning. Our journalists are committed to telling that story as best we can.
Our website began simply as the content of the newspaper uploaded weekly; now it is a high-pressure operation telling hundreds of stories a month. There is much more ahead.