Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Shutdown of ERT and Greece's Media Landscape: a Modern-Day Wild Wild West - Conservative State Responds to Fired Media Workers Protest

Saturday, 24 August 2013 01:32
By Michael Nevradakis, Truthout | News

It was the evening of March 27, 2001. In Spata, outside of Athens, the finishing touches were being made to the new Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, which was to begin operations the following day. A few miles away, however, atop Mount Imittos, overlooking Athens, a dark chapter was being written in Greece's modern history. Late that evening, riot police stormed the mountaintop, which houses the transmitters of most radio and television stations broadcasting in Athens. And in an unprecedented tour de force, police shut down 66 radio stations. The official rationale given was that these stations, which had not received licenses in a recent licensing tender, would endanger flight safety by interfering with aviation frequencies to be used by the new airport.

Truthout combats corporatization by bringing you trustworthy news: click here to join the effort.

Let's flash-forward 12 years. On June 11, 2013, Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou announced the shutdown of ERT, Greece's national public broadcaster. Within hours, transmitters were shut off and television screens across Greece went dark. Similar to 2001, riot police were dispatched to the mountaintop transmission facilities in Athens and Thessaloniki, where ERT engineers allegedly were forced out at gunpoint, allowing police to secure control of the transmitters.
The shutdown of ERT generated global headlines. To fully understand the actions of the Greek government in shutting down ERT, however, it is important to examine the history of how the broadcast media landscape in Greece has developed, the convoluted and haphazard regulatory regime under which it operates and the long tradition of government meddling in Greece's media.
. . .
See the original article at

No comments: