Athens, August 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Strong “earthquakes” are being registered in the media system of Greece, with the invitation to tender for the four (;) television nationwide broadcasting licenses.
The over 27 years of anarchic television landscape without broadcasting permits, but with ministerial decisions that renewed the first unofficial licenses, enters its final straight with the final tender for the new broadcasting licenses, which will take place, according to all indications at the end of August.
With nine suitors for 4 licenses, as was announced by the Secretariat General of Information and Communication today, and with several of the participants having open accounts with Justice, the confrontation front between the old channels and the government has been moved among the aspiring television Channel owners, old and new.
This is an expected confrontation between the old and “illegal” channels and the government, with the latter setting rules and involving new players to the television field.
What came as something of a surprise however was the war that has broken out among the suitors for the licenses. This dispute has been triggered in part by the Inquiry Committee of the House on the lending received by the political parties and the media, which is in progress during this period.
Using the media owned by each, almost all prospective television channel owners accuse the other entrepreneurs, who are either engaged or wish to become engaged in the television field, bringing to the surface irregularities that have been committed over the years of the unregulated television field.
The abscess of interweaving appears to have finally gone bust, as has the omertà that was in effect for so many years in a closed “profession” as was the television channels. Money was aplenty and the power these media yielded was even greater, going so far as to determine the policy of not only politicians but also of the banks.
Nobody knows of course if the new television landscape will be better than the previous one. In this, responsibility lies with the government and every government, which will have to comply with the rules that have been adopted.
What is most worrying however, is the quality of journalism and journalists during this period, who instead of keeping the level of information high in a bid to earn some of their lost credibility and dignity, they are being manipulated and controlled by the owners of the media that employ them, acting as self-proclaimed advocates in every work and practice of their boss.
It’s understandable to not want to lose your job, but to lose your credibility and self-esteem are issues that are not easily earned. And when you lose them it is hard to win them back, at least in the short term.
The king is naked and greek journalism – with a few exceptions – as been stripped completely. Unfortunately, it has come to be considered unreliable and discredited by the largest part of the Greek society. And it is a pity, at a time when the news is not a privilege only of journalists, to do everything possible to lose even the last remaining principles and values of journalism.