NEWS

The profile of the typical Greek blogger

By Matthaios Tsimitakis – Kathimerini Around a month after the fuss over the controversial political blog press-gr and less than a year since the sudden mushrooming of the Greek blogosphere, Panteion University has produced the first fully fledged survey on Greek bloggers. Who are these people that television channels lauded last summer when they took to the streets to demand the reforestation of fire-ravaged Mount Parnitha, but whom they denounced a few weeks ago when the identity of the people behind press-gr was revealed? What part do bloggers play in public discourse? Is what they do journalism and, if so, what kind? These are just some of the questions that Zafeiris Karambasis, a postgraduate student in the virtual communities program at Panteion, addressed in his research. Though blogs have been around for no longer than 10 years, they have already had a powerful impact, giving expression to new opinions and people that might not otherwise be heard. Greek Internet users represent only 30 percent of the population, and bloggers an even smaller proportion – the most experienced and best-educated users. But they are part of a rapidly growing trend that is changing not only the nature of the Internet but also ways of delivering news and entertainment in general. An estimated 120,000 new blogs are created every day. From the massive response to the death of Amalia Kalyvinou, a cancer sufferer who had used her blog to record shortcomings she encountered in the health system, to the organization of the Parnitha protest rally and revelations of torture in Greek police stations, the Greek blogosphere is in line with developments abroad. In just one year, the number of Greek blogs has grown to 40,000, which are read by 500,000, according to government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.