“I am considered lucky because I earn 500€ a month. From the total amount, I am obliged to pay the extra cost of the bank transfer”, Haris Drousiotis, 23, tells me. He works from home, rewriting news and he doesn’t have an employment contract, which means that he lives in constant stress worrying if he is going to get paid that month. “The work I have done can be deleted any time and there won’t be any sign that I was ever employed there”, he comments, adding that he knows of previous employees who weren’t pad for months of work in the past.
Flipping through the hubbub of Greek television channels, especially during the morning rush or evening hours of talk shows, the prevalence of men is undeniable. The reasons for the media’s sexist orientation is not irrelevant to the sexism of (Greek) society.
Jason-Antigone is a non-binary transgender person, and his face appeared on a newspaper that urged violence against members of the LGBTQI+ community. That day “Eleftheri Ora” sold 2700 issues, a bit higher than its usual rates.
The image theft tradition seems omnipresent in the Greek media sphere. During our research, we realized that it was difficult to find a local photographer without at least one experience of his/her photography used by Greek media without authorization.
On 14 November 2017, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) organized a conference on “Media Pluralism in Greece: Evaluation, challenges and prospects” in order to officially present the results of the Greek part of the EU-wide research on media pluralism, conducted by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF). The results of this study were not very pleasant for Greece’s broadcast media, which are to be found below the EU average in most indexes (political independence, social inclusiveness and protection of journalists…).
After the Greek financial crisis erupted, both newspapers adopted several harsh reorganization measures, such as pay cuts, voluntary staff reductions and lay-offs. Instead of solving the companies’ financial troubles, however, these measures resulted in salaries being withheld for months, with the management repeatedly pleading for the staff’s understanding and patience. Strike action and/or legal recourse were discouraged amid an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.
The way that the establishment of private TV channels was implemented in Greece, perfectly illustrates the ties between the new media owners and politicians. Private TV was met with a mixture of fear, for what was yet unknown and thus challenging to control, and with anticipation for what could serve several entrepreneurial and political interests more efficiently…
“During summer, we were contacted by the colleagues at OBCT, they invited us to take part in an international project with many countries in Europe and the Balkans initiated under the umbrella of the European centre for Press and Media Freedom. Initially we were honoured to be part of this project, but soon after we started thinking about how we would approach it. The invitation by OBCT raised a question: while in our country anyone can publish anything they want, is there true press freedom? And what about media pluralism?”