OPINION

Simply too costly to keep up

The vociferous protests heard in reaction to the government campaign to streamline the municipal media in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as in other cities, are unjustifiable.

Municipal radio and television stations did, it is true, play a historic role before the introduction of legislation that allowed the operation of private television stations.

Ever since, most of municipal media degenerated into public relations instruments that promoted the interests of each area?s respective mayor. Occasionally, their programs were made a means of carrying out political favors.

No one questions the fact that there are responsible journalists working for municipal networks or that there is valuable material coming from these outlets. However, at this very difficult point, it is unacceptable that there are municipal radio stations operating at three times the cost of privately owned networks. Nor should the authorities put millions of euros into those stations, when that money could instead go to state-owned primary schools, sanitation or support for vulnerable members of society.