Skewed Reporting of Protests by Bulgarian Media Declared Wrong

Society | June 26, 2012, Tuesday // 19:54
Bulgaria: Skewed Reporting of Protests by Bulgarian Media Declared Wrong Thousands of Bulgarians blocked the center of capital Sofia June 13-15 in outrage against the country's new Forestry Act. Photo by BGNES

Buglaria's Council for Electronic Media has criticized biased media coverage aiming to downplay the size and significance of recent rallies against the country's new Forestry Act.

Georgi Lozanov, chair of the state supervisory body, singled out in particular largest Bulgarian TV channel bTV, as giving a particularly skewed picture of the protests.

"There was a manifest coverage of Forestry Act protests on the part of bTV. But the media has in no way breached the Law on Radio and TV," said Lozanov Tuesday.

bTV's reporting provoked the Anonymous to issue a threat to the channel, warning with attacks should it fail to apologize to Bulgarian audiences.

At its Tuesday sitting, the Council for Electronic Media decided that there are no legal grounds to penalize bTV or any other media for poor reporting.

"There shouldn't be any regulatory interference in the way media present their news," commented the council's chair.

"Any censure should come from the audience, by ways of public trust or distrust for the media," explained Lozanov.

According to the assessment by the state supervisory, only the Bulgarian National Radio - but not the Bulgarian National TV - met the standards for journalistic integrity.

Members of the Council further commented that the protests were based on and well covered by internet media and social networks, which should serve as a lesson for traditional media.

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Tags: Council for Electronic Media, Georgi Lozanov, Forestry Act, media, bTV, Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgarian National TV, media, Internet, social networks, protests, rallies
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