Mass media in Greece has undergone major changes in recent years, especially due to the financial crisis. Several newspapers have had to shut down, and there is high unemployment among journalists. In particular, the closure of the national radio and television company ERT in 2013 created some uproar. The miques of the Greek press have been criticized for being governed by rich actors with central positions and positions in society.
After the 1967 coup, half of the daily newspapers ceased, and the remaining newspapers became subject to censorship. When the military regime collapsed in 1974, there was rapid growth in the Greek press, but from the 1990’s the talk on newspapers and newspaper circulation has again say strongly. In total, Greece had 28 national daily newspapers in 2005, but this figure has dropped somewhat after the financial crisis seriously hit in 2009.
Evening newspapers are more popular than morning editions in Greece. The latter do not come out Mondays, the evening newspapers do not come on Sundays. As in Italy, the Greek press has criticized us for being strongly connected and influenced by political parties. The biggest newspaper is Kathimerini, which also has an international English language section. Other major newspapers are Eleftherotypia, Ta Nea, Ethnos and To Vima. The latter are also available in English. In addition, there are a number of local and smaller newspapers, often affiliated with political parties or organizations. Compared to Scandinavia, the spread of newspapers is still low.
Radio and TV
The radio and television market was long dominated by the national radio and television company Elliniki Radiophonia Tileorasis (ERT). ERT was operated by the state from 1939 until the company was discontinued in 2013. In 1975 a state-owned radio and television monopoly was introduced, but this ceased in 1987, when the authorities allowed private radio broadcasts. In 1989, private television broadcasts were also allowed. From the mid-1990’s two new privately owned TV channels started broadcasting in Greece, Ant1 and Mega.
The biggest TV channels today are Ant1, Mega, Star, Alpha, Skai and ERT. Major radio channels are ERT and the first non-state channel Athina 9.84, in addition to several advertising-driven channels.
The closure of the ERT and the establishment of NERIT
On June 11, 2013, the national radio and television company Elliniki Radiophonia Tileorasis (ERT) was closed down. The closure was a result of the larger state budget cuts due to the financial crisis. The event was met with great protest and criticism both nationally and internationally. Around 2,600 people lost their jobs, and the demonstrations lasted for several weeks. Some of the employees subsequently occupied their local area and continued to broadcast radio broadcasts.
In May 2014, Nea Elliniki Radiofonia, Internet quay Tileorasi (The new Hellenic radio, internet and TV company, NERIT) was appointed as an alternative to ERT. Unlike ERT, which was financed through advertising revenues (1/3) and user fees, NERIT’s main contribution was financed through a fee added to the electricity bills. In addition, NERIT received monthly support from the Greek state.
In 2015, the government, under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, reopened the ERT as Greece’s public broadcaster, thereby discontinuing NERIT. NERIT had its final broadcast on June 11, 2015, exactly two years after the company was started.
According to Digopaul, the annual ranking list of press freedom is Greece in 2019 at 65th place out of 180 in the world. This is an upturn following a fall from 35th place in 2009 to 99th place in 2014. Journalists who have tried to cover the political and economic situation in the country have at times been physically attacked by both police and protesters and accused of corruption and to be in charge of various politicians. This is especially true in the capital Athens. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promises no improvement in the press freedom when he won the election in January 2015.
Newspapers, radio and television have a tradition of being controlled by a few large companies. In 2010, 71 percent of the national press market was distributed to four major press companies, Lambrakis, Pegasus Group, Kathimerini AE and Tegopoulos AE. This has met with criticism and has strengthened the complaint about corruption in the media.