“We financially support newspapers and electronic media, because information is a function, but based on real needs and based on transparent criteria, without favors and exceptions.”
Alexis Tsipras, TEF.
Alexis stated the above. He promises to do what his party has been fighting for with the famous “Petsa list”, which will apparently be called the “Tsipras list”. This was announced by the leader of the party which has attempted to trivialize the entire journalistic world on the occasion of the famous list. And his internet trolls have seized the opportunity to disparage any non-Syrian journalist as a “scumbag” when they don’t like his point of view.
The problem, however, goes beyond the oppositional meanness of SYRIZA. There has been global concern about the media for years. It touches on the vulnerability of democracy, as the once international news behemoths, subdued by the need to survive, have passed into the ownership of giant multinational corporations.
The danger of them promoting a monophonic perception of public life becomes apparent. In counterpoint, and in order to break down (as much as possible) this Chinese wall of powerful journalistic organizations, the developed countries of the world, with the agreement (and request) of all journalistic associations everywhere, subsidize the small media.
The goal is to help the weakest of them, those who do not have behind them the golden funds of giant companies, to stand upright and express their own opinion freely, sometimes deviating from the dominant ideology.
Especially in the time of the pandemic, because advertising dried up, all the countries of the western world allocated corresponding amounts of media support. In Portugal e.g. country of similar population to ours, the money given was more.
Only in Greece, and only SYRIZA, criminalized this global practice, including it in its opposition rhetoric, and pitying the journalistic profession. And at this moment when “Avgi” and other media owned by him, as well as his friendly newspapers, accepted the help of the list (except badly – this is not the first time – of the Documento newspaper).
The ones who did not need this money were the big capitalist owners, who can easily support their media without state support. Vangelis Marinakis e.g. he had the comfort of sending back the corresponding amount (for MEGA, Vima, Nea, Parapolitika, in.gr, etc.). So if we adopt the logic of SYRIZA, Avgi, Kokkino, EfSyn, and not Marinaki’s media, are the ones who are screwed!
The problem starts a long time ago. From the Stalinist concept that is vital to SYRIZA, and is summed up in the saying “Exterminate the opponent”. It is the hatred – literally the word – of SYRIZA for the journalism it does not control.
In the early years of the memorandums, those who did not share his view were minions of the IMF, Merkel and their bosses. Those who accepted his delusions (Tsipras expression), were fighters, vanguards of the people’s struggles, who perpetuated their desire to live more freely, away from the debt bondage imposed by the boot of “Madame Merkel” (and of course they are… independent journalists who now on the TV windows, they are playing the role of SYRIZA press representative)!
Essentially what the former ruling party aimed at (and still aims at) was to discredit those journalists who criticize it, to make them untrustworthy and to herd its flock in its own controlled media. That was also the purpose of the limiting number of channels invented by the Institute of Florence. It was simply so grossly unconstitutional that it crashed into the Supreme Court.
And something we have said before: SYRIZA, in its attempt to discredit journalistic criticism, mainly targeted window, television or print journalists (e.g. Pretenderis, Tremi, Kosionis, Papachristos, etc.). And here’s the catch: While he accused them of being the “voice of the bosses,” he never singled out the bosses themselves.
There was never an accusation from the mouth of a Syrian executive about the owners “who gave orders”, like let’s say Vardinogianni, Bombola, Kontominas, Alafuzo, etc. They were in the bulletproof zone! Perhaps because he wanted to make a deal with them – either secretly in front of a Himalayan cat, or with his emissaries demanding the delivery of the news section of their stations (public complaints in Short).
The oxymoron is that ESIEA never reacted strongly to this operation of undermining the prestige of the journalistic profession by SYRIZA. On the contrary, its Disciplinary Committee was drawn up and checked some journalists who were publicly in favor of “Yes” in the referendum (let’s say it was good, which is not good). However, he left the “No” preachers unarmed! These were grassroots activists, so by definition… unbiased journalists!
So we await… the election of Tsipras (we say now) to see the financial support to “newspapers and electronic media”, and how much it… will differ from the Petsa list!
PS: I will not be surprised if they say that I wrote the above at the behest of Mavridis! That’s how they are! The personal independence of a journalist does not exist in their scale of values.