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The economic crisis disturbеd Greek media

14 December 2010 / 16:12:51  GRReporter
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Greek media seem to be one of the main victims of the economic crisis. The daily historic Apogevmatini is not published since the last month, the prestigious Vima newspaper has now only Sunday edition, and the dozens of redundancies in the electronic media predict an uncertain future for journalists and technical staff. Meanwhile, even the Sunday editions circulation fell due to reduced consumer power. The economic crisis has led to significant cuts in the media budgets and the parallel decline in the advertising market is gradually decreasing their main source of revenue - advertising.

All media unions will participate in tomorrow's Panhellenic strike and it is not quite clear yet whether they will go on another, this time a 48-hour strike, on December17 and 18. Among journalists’ demands are the collective labour agreements signing, the cancellation of individual employment contracts that were signed by employees of the media company Sky, job protection and cessation of mass redundancies as well as taking state measures to protect the unemployed.

Yesterday the journalists union in Athens held meetings with representatives of employers: television, radio, printed media owners and a representative of the board of the state radio television company ERT. None of the invited responded to the invitation and the media information in the country is about to be stopped within 48 hours and during one of the most crisis summit of the EU member states that is expected to decide the future of the support mechanism for countries with high state debt.

At the same time, newspaper publishers of Eleftherotypia, Proto Tema, Real News and Elefteros Tipos expressed their intention to sign a one-year collective agreement in order these specific media to be excluded from the participants in the strike. Their proposal was for no redundancy, but for no salary increases within the next year either. However, the board of the journalist union did not accept the proposal. The final decision for the strike at the end of the week will be taken later today.

It became clear late last night that the strike the union of journalists in private television and radio stations in Thessaloniki announced won’t be carried today. Journalists and technicians wanted to express in this way their discontent with the dismissals of their colleagues in the central media in Thessaloniki. Mega and Antenna TVs management, however, approached the court that ruled the strike was illegal and should not be held.

Athenians discovered today the second edition of the Employees’ Apogevmatini newspaper in the free press points. After the owner of the Apogevmatini newspaper went bankrupt a month ago editors began to publish the newspaper. The reason for the bankruptcy is outstanding debts of advertisers to the newspaper. Employees have not received salaries for more than four months and can not get help from the labour services at the same time because their employer has not paid benefits for the company declared bankruptcy.

The situation in the state broadcaster ERT is not significantly different. Staff salaries were cut earlier this year after the introduction of measures for fiscal discipline in the public sector. Temporary employment contracts of hundreds of journalists expired in early July and they are still waiting to return back after the contest which was held a month ago. Trade unions of journalists and technicians have announced three-hour strike today and on December 16 to protest against the government policy and to demand new collective labour agreements.

According to analysts, the fact that the crisis affects the Greek media so deeply is mainly due to the fact that they are built on unstable foundations, and information space is full of a large number of media with limited opportunities and prospects that are geared to a very small audience. The 11-millionth Greece has more than 40 daily editions, 15 national TV stations 5 of them state ones, hundreds of radio station, which is ridiculous. .

Analysts do not undertake to predict the future of the Greek media and the developments that will take place. But in their opinion, the time has come to witness the "big shrinkage" in traditional media, newspapers, magazines and radio stations. According to experts, television media is in the best position compared to the other ones but this does not mean that some channels will not be closed or merged, or that others will not be paid.

Their forecasts show that 3 or 4 newspapers and dozens of radio stations will emerge from the crisis and the internal media processes and they will focus on information blocks in the morning and music afternoons diluted by many conversations with listeners.

Tags: MediaEconomic crisisNewspapersCirculationTVAdvertisingRadio stationsRedundanciesJournalists
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