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A screenshot from the Council for Electronic Media's website. (Cem.bg, screenshot)

Bulgaria’s Council for Electronic Media ruled that it was OK for TV7’s host Nikolay Barekov to rip up a newspaper and describe the newspaper as a “rug,” Novinite reported.

TV7 identifies itself as a national TV station airing “general entertainment TV.”

According to Novinite, “Barekov staged the provocation to demonstrate his attitude towards Bulgaria’s policy in the pharmaceutical sector, which came under fire after publications claiming that Sopharma, a major Bulgarian drug maker, was selling its products way cheaper in Turkey, Serbia and Poland.”

While, the council found that Barekov’s actions “triggered a spike in public interest” and may have been an ethical issue, as opposed to a legal matter.

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The chairperson of the group, Georgi Lozanov, is quoted as saying “This is an unacceptable gesture for Bulgarian society,” and noted that the ethics code advises “media outlets ought to treat each other with respect and must not engage in unfair competition.”

According to Novinite’s Dec. 30, 2011 report, Barekov was sued for libel by “former secret agent” Alexey Petrov.  In question was Barekov’s on-air remarks suggesting Petrov was behind “the July 19 explosions in front of the offices of the marginal conservative Law, Order and Justice party and the right wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party.”

We have written to the Council for Electronic Media and TV7 for more information and will update with any response.

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Bulgarian Media Council on Nikolay Barekov Tearing up Newspaper

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