Most viewers find television news a big turnoff

Seven in 10 Greek TV viewers are unhappy with the standard and type of information they receive from the programs they watch, according to figures released yesterday, as a series of experienced players in the sector expressed their concern about the quality of TV news in particular. The poll, conducted by VPRC on behalf of Sunday’s Kathimerini, indicated that 78 percent of Greeks also believed that TV news shows are not objective in the way they present and analyze events. Two-thirds of viewers admit to having felt that they have wasted their time after watching a news bulletin. Seven in 10 respondents said they think that there are important events that the news shows do not cover at all and 28 percent of those questioned believe that journalists do not check their facts before revealing them in front of TV cameras. «That Greek TV viewers are taking a critical stance on TV news shows is an undoubted reality,» government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, a former journalist, told Sunday’s Kathimerini. «The audience has sent its message, now it is the turn of the TV journalists to show that they have received it.» Six in 10 respondents said they were unhappy with the quality of political programs, which often end up being shouting matches between rival politicians. «As I look back on the last decade, we have moved from ‘let me finish’ to ‘I will speak at the same time as you,’» TV presenter Elli Stai told Sunday’s Kathimerini. The survey indicates that half of TV viewers believe that politicians appear on news shows too regularly. Deputy Labor Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos told Kathimerini that some politicians feel that appearing on TV is the best way to get their message across, while others simply feel they are suited to being in front of the cameras. «Maybe it is time for all of us, politicians and journalists, to be self-critical,» he said. Almost three-quarters of people questioned for the poll said that they find the news shows less interesting when the guests, shown in frames known as parathira or windows, begin arguing among themselves. «I like watching the parathira… the rage, the theater and the gestures provide rich entertainment,» BBC correspondent Malcolm Brabant told Kathimerini. «It is like watching two bad Greek drivers arguing after a minor accident.» Two-thirds of the 600 respondents feel that journalists who investigate incidents or people during news shows «probably» violate the rights of the person involved.