Photo: To Vima
As of December this year, Greece will finally have its first news television channel. Euronews managing director Michael Peters announced at a special press conference in Athens that by the end of the year, the television would run a new 24-hour news channel in Greek. "We will not translate news. We will rather generate our own reports from Greece with European significance," said Peters.
The television is planning to open a Greek office with a total staff of 42 people, which will be responsible for the events in the country and Cyprus. It will consist of a manager of the Greek team, journalists, and about one third of the employees will be technical and support staff. The funding will come from the parent company and the European Commission and the plan is for Euronews-Greece to become a self-financing media after five years of operation. Until then, the television channel will be supported from the budget of the headquarters and the funds allocated by the European Commission.
To the question of why this project has not yet been put into action, Peters explained that the Commission had not approved the funding. "We do not want to give you money for something that will not be watched," the Commission replied to the media management when they first asked for the Greek expansion. Obviously, the economic crisis and Greece in its role as the apple of discord in the garden of the single currency have helped the Commission to change its position. In addition, Peters explained that the Greek state television ERT has granted the national frequencies for the establishment of the Greek edition of the pan-European media free of charge. Cypriot state TV has done the same.
Greece and Cyprus will finally have a news television channel with 10 minutes of pure news, Peters explained in his presentation. He is familiar with the traditional Mediterranean type of news presentation, which is more like a one-hour talk show than a news programme.
The management of the international media is willing for the Greek subsidiary to begin its activity during Cyprus’ EU Presidency, which starts on 1 July 2012 and will last until the end of the year.
So far, Euronews' broadcasts are in 11 languages and it has a total of about five billion viewers. "Our media has the greatest success in the countries where it is broadcasting in the local language," the managing director said. The media has been operating since 1993, when it began broadcasting in five languages - English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. It expanded later and has gradually involved broadcasts in Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Iranian and Ukrainian. According to Michael Peters’ presentation, Euronews is holding the lead among news television channels in the world with around five million viewers. Next are CNN with 1.5 million viewers and the BBC with 884 thousand viewers.