Greek media has seen better days. Until recently, the small country of 11 million people was home to a mammoth media sector of 11 television channels, 71 radio stations and more than 22 national newspapers.
That media bubble burst when the financial crisis hit in 2011: major outlets have shut down, at least 4,000 journalists have been laid off and others are facing big pay cuts. Those who remain have little leeway to tell a more complete story.
Major media outlets owned by big conglomerates have been accused of injecting their own business interests into editorial decisions, limiting their coverage to pro-World Bank and IMF agendas.
This week, the media will be covering the first Greek elections since the beginning of the financial crisis, and Listening Post‘s Marcela Pizarro looks at the story behind Greek media’s own financial crisis, its effect on freedom of expression and that very Greek idea of democracy.
“The problem with the Greek media today is not just that thousands have been left out of work. It’s also that democracy is on the line …. The very same people who created this crisis insist today that they will overcome it.
All those who have been thrown out of the media organise themselves and create their own experimental cooperatives which can provide real information as opposed to the directives coming from the elites who are selling austerity and authoritarianism.”
Dimitry Trimis, the president of the Union of Greek Journalists