Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Greece Insists On A Higher Standard Of Television

Television programmers in Greece who allow sexual allegations, scurrilous innuendo and soap box spouting onto television news have been told by the Government to tone it down or we'll turn it off. John Howard reports.

A new Greek presidential decree says television channels could be forced to suspend programs, pay fines of up to NZ$3 million and - as a last resort - lose their operating license if they don't adhere to a bolstered journalistic code.

The decree has brought opposition from critics who say it could stifle investigative journalism in a nation which has seen its share of corruption and major foul-ups.

But the Government says a license to operate is public property and the public are expecting higher standards, including from public figures.

The measures are the latest attempt to bring some order to the brash frontier of the Greek airwaves, where five private stations and more than 15 smaller channels increasingly dedicate news programmes and talk shows to any topic - no matter how flimsy or scathing the accusations.

Similar American shows play on New Zealand television.

The new decree has been widely supported by Greek journalists.

"A journalist is not a policeman, a prosecutor or a judge and cannot resort to keyhole reporting," the Athens Jounalist Union said in statement.

Commentators have insisted the television ratings race crossed the line long ago.

"It all started with the unrestricted competition in television which led to a down spiral into the swamp of mud," the Athens daily Eleftherotyopia wrote. "Human values were swept away, individual rights were ignored and all the rules of ethics were trodden on."

There have been cases in Greece where people have committed suicide after unsubstantiated sex abuse allegations that never made it to court were made.

Speaking from the United States veteran television news journalist Bill Moyers, who has 30 news Emmy awards, hammered the problems he sees in journalism.

"The industry has an obsession with celebrities, a need for speed over accuracy, and the proliferation of opinion and speculation over reporting," he said.

He blamed it on "megacorporations, making megamergers in search of megaprofits."

"Today, only six companies control most of what America reads in books, magazines and newspapers and watches on television and at the movies," he said.

Other political journalists are also upset with the decline in standards.

"Too many political journalists are falling in love with a particular candidate or party and they are adopting a policy of see, hear and speak no evil," said American television journalist Maureen Shouten.

"Journalists are supposed to be the eyes and ears of voters but their personal opinions are slanting the news and current affairs and the companies they work for are allowing it to happen. That can be dangerous for democracy," she said.

Bill Moyers said, "Because journalism has been so good to me, I'm sad when my colleagues and I discuss the state of our craft today."

Advertising executive, Roy Spence, said he views the Internet as a "ray of hope" because it has so far steered clear of corporate controls. But Moyers is not so sure and believes free access to the Internet will be a major issue in the next decade.

Around two years ago, Americans who had been harmed by, or through, television programs starting suing the stations. Most cases are still before the courts with the media arguing rights to a free press, but lawyers claim the television stations also have product liability.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reactionary Politics Of Fear

What do you call a situation where the state tries to create panic among its own people for party political gain? As practiced by Theresa May and her faction of the Conservative Party, this has become a well-honed form of state terrorism… More>>

Viva Scoop 3.0! Rounding Up 2018 And Looking Ahead

2018 has been quite a year for Scoop. We are so thrilled to have successfully met the funding target for the first stage of the ‘Scoop 3.0’ plan raising $36,000. This means we can now proceed with the planning phase for the delivery of this bold vision for a community-owned, participatory, independent newsroom... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog