Gov’t has eye on news free of ratings

State Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos met with senior television executives yesterday to discuss news bulletins being dropped from ratings surveys in a move the government says will help to increase the credibility of broadcasts. Roussopoulos, who is also government spokesman, told television representatives that strong competition in the sector has transformed news reports into commercial goods that have lost their credibility with viewers. «No one has the right to intervene in the work done by journalists. However, I put forth my concerns on the sensationalism that degrades the real news along with the journalist and, above all, harms the industry,» sources cited the minister as saying. Ministry sources added that television station representatives were positive about the proposal that would be self-imposed by the industry. Other reforms the government is aiming to introduce are stricter rules regulating how public opinion polls are conducted. Roussopolous is today expected to present to Parliament stricter rules regulating companies that conduct public opinion polls, based on standards adopted in other European Union states. The PASOK government had launched talks on implementing a similiar law in 1995; however, the initiative did not materialize into a draft bill.