TV intervention

The predominance of «corruption revelations» in Greek current affairs strongly indicates some serious jugglery going on in public life. However, it also shows something else: namely that private television – and specifically those programs which do not seek to draw general conclusions about developments but to reveal spicy details about high-profile personalities – play a key role in influencing this climate. The point is not how television stations operate but why they have such a strong impact. Of course it is significant if a certain minister is appointing his relatives or friends to public service posts or if some party cadre or other has been taking bribes, but are these developments so important that they should dominate our news bulletins? The truth is that the supremacy of so-called TV tribunals is facilitated by the stance of state institutions. For example, when prosecutors tolerate cassettes of bugged telephone conversations being made public, and when there is no respect for the presumption of innocence, this virtually invites television intervention. However, this still fails to explain the impact of televised «revelations» on the public. The only possible explanation for this, in my opinion, is the lack of any genuine political dialogue and government initiative in this country.