Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The after-ERT era: public broadcaster closed down in cash-strapped Greece.

No doubt that the country’s financial survival is a priority but selecting the sector to restructure can be tricky if the policy of selling out is to be avoided: an ideal success of public broadcasting in the marketplace by definition equals questioning the media credibility as commercial gains can carry the cultural cost of selecting the creation of the most profitable product. On the other hand the long history of public broadcasting has often been accused of becoming the “porte-parole” of governments financing ( partially or entirely) its maintenance. Let’s see if the new format suggested by the Greek government can guarantee not only lower cost but also enough diversity (“enough” to be defined), creative risk-taking and less reliance on established, profit-guaranteeing formats - and still stay faithful to the philosophy of public media: that is, to address their audiences first as members of moral and political communities as opposed to private media where viewer equals consumption unit. For both the challenge should be how to balance impartial information with profit versus chameleon-like politics and profiteering - and for both, profit based on the culture of impartial information dissemination is possible especially in these “globalized” times when people question more – almost everything.
In this sense, it is fortunate that the affordability of accessing the social media makes it the third important information provider and opinion-exchange / collective-debate ground. Actually, it may have already become the first provider as long as the user can tell one reliable individual source from another.
Thank you Greek government for restarting the debate.

-Elena Spilioti

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