Bulgarian State TV, President's PR Authored Debated New Year Address

Society | January 2, 2013, Wednesday // 18:22|  views

A collage by the Bulgarian news agency BGNES with the picture used in the President's New Year's Eve address, which caused strong reactions in the country.

The first televised New Year's address of Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, which stirred heated debates in the country, has been shot by the Bulgarian National Television and prepared by his Administration.

State-owned BNT has filmed the address in 3 different formats of the highest quality in order to be aired by all media in the country, the TV says in an official statement Wednesday.

According to it, the concept for the clip and its visualization have been executed by the presidential administration, while the technical realization belongs to BNT.

The selection of the photographs is a joint work of the BNT teams and the presidential press office in using shots from the television's archives, pictures from the official site of the presidential office, and from Bulgarian tourist sites with no copy rights, chosen in agreement with the PR office of the presidential institution, BNT explains, adding Plevneliev's address had one of the highest ratings in the TV New Year's Eve program.

The speech caused a true storm on social networks in Bulgaria with some applauding it and others ridiculing it over a serious blunder.

People who laud Plevneliev say the speech was emotional, touching and very different from those delivered for 10 years in a row by his predecessor and former socialist leader, Georgi Parvanov.

The new elements included the decision to record the address inside the library of the Sofia University, the backdrop with pictures from important for Bulgaria events in 2012, photographs of talented youngsters winning prestigious education awards, of people who risked their lives or perished in helping others, special greetings to Bulgarian expats and soldiers serving in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

One picture, however, triggered a storm of reactions. In the speech, Plevneliev described Bulgaria as one of the oldest States in Europe, with ancient culture, rich history, and unique nature while the pictures scrolling on the background showed the Tsarevets fortress in the old capital Veliko Tarnovo and right after it – a picturesque mountain landscape with snow-covered peaks and lush meadows.

The ridicule flared after a well-known Bulgarian collage-maker, Vladimir Doychinov AKA Lado, recognized the landscape as being a picture from the Rocky Mountains in the US State of Colorado, and spread it on social networks.

Another interesting detail is the fact the same picture has been published on the official sites of tourist company Balkantourist and of Bulgarica.com as advertisement for one of Bulgaria's top ski resorts – Pamporovo.

Amidst an avalanche of comments, ranging from jokes to outrage, one of the largest Facebook groups "Occupy Bulgaria" asked if the US has been annexed to Bulgaria right before the arrival of 2013.

BNT explains that the said picture has been taken precisely from the official Balkantourist site, where it is presented as an advertisement of a Bulgarian ski resort.

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Tags: BNT, PR, administration, collage, Lado, pictures, Aspen, president, New Year's, Bulgarian, Nature, Rosen Plevneliev, Rocky Mountains, US, Colorado, Pamporovo


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