Tuesday’s ended with the most awkward news. The Greek government had just decided to shut down ERT, the greek public broadcaster. I listened to it in a sort of incredulous behavior. Nahhh… It’s not gonna happen. No one closes a public company from one moment to another, I though. Even less radio and TV.
But it actually happened.
Earlier yesterday I gave it a though. And again, it seemed a very strange thing to be happening. I logged into Twitter and found some re-tweets about it. It did happen. And it was still being noticed by several media around the world. I turned the radio on and they were also talking about it. I then logged into Facebook and the world seemed quite the same as everyday: music, cats and dogs, inspirational sentences to finally find a post about ERT. It is amazing to see the differences between online social networks. I read the post and comments finding that somebody was upon it it for several hours. Back to twitter, I found EBU position about the Greek government advising to reverse this decision.
Cuts. Troika. Unbelievable spending. Three major words that express the whole point. Someone in the Greek government made a decision that can only be understood if we see it as unbelievable guts, insanity or something else that I can’t imagine what maybe. Censorship? Hopefully not. Not even major authoritarian regimes and dictators ever did something like this. Well, in the end, these guys did even worse, implementing a media communication structure with no freedom of speech and using it to defende their political views, policies and interests. But stil… In Greece, things went the other way around. The public broadcaster was shut down from one day to another. I don’t follow news in Greece on a regular basis, and I confess to be depending on international media to be updated on the country situation. Nevertheless, I did not heard about intentions, ideas or even public discussion around this matter. Even less about parliament discussions or decisions. Or was there any and I missed it? How can governors make such decision without information leaks and without the parliament voting it?
I don’t know exactly what to think about this situation because I don’t know nor the Greek media context nor the public service media in Greece. But I can say that such a decision is a “cut, cut, cut” decision without thinking about freedom of expression consequences, political and public information consequences. Or was the ERT so biased that it had to be closed? I don’t believe it.
I know for sure that this was an unprecedented decision that we are still to evaluate what will mean for the near future…. Some updates available at my storify account | READ |