In an extremely unprecedented move, the Greek Government has suspended the country’s national broadcaster, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp (or ERT), for an indefinite amount of time in order to cut back on public spending in line with tough austerity measures.
Today, I spoke to George Donikian – who I watched almost every night growing up as he read the news on Channel Ten – about the closure of Greece’s equivalent of the ABC and what it meant for Greeks around the world, including in Australia.
The former broadcaster of Greek descent explained how the Greek public is divided over the closure, the uncertain future of the ERT and its journalists, and what this says about the financial crisis in general.
But he also delved into deeper themes surrounding the media and its relationship with politics, especially in relation to public broadcasting.
Mr Donikian proceeded to explain the full significance of the event, not just with relation to Greece, but for media and politics on the whole, offering a perspective that could only come from someone with years of experience in the business, as well as a deep understanding of the political and economic realities in Greece and Europe.
Check out my story for The Wire toalso hear the thoughts of former Greek journalist and newsreader for Melbourne Greek radio station 3XY Radio, Panos Astopolou.