Being held hostage by our TV channels

During the search for the 23-year-old Russian believed to have shot dead two Greek policemen, our television channels assumed the task of terrorizing the entire country. Meanwhile there was no evidence of police instructing residents of the possible whereabouts of the fugitive, whose body was discovered on Monday near Mt Katara. In 1994, 94 million US viewers stayed riveted to their TV screens during the live coverage of a police chase of former American football star O.J. Simpson, who was suspected of murdering his wife. Our TV channels did not manage to break this record. The top television reporters did not abandon their New Year’s Eve revelry to comb the hills of Thessaly for signs of the fugitive. But the missing Russian dominated news bulletins on all channels over the entire holiday weekend as well as pouring fuel on the fire of the arrogant and opinionated rants of so-called personalities in TV debates. We live in a democracy and everyone has the right to say whatever they want; but what is most worrying about the tirades of TV journalists is not what they say but how they say it – the fake truthfulness, the simplistic conclusions. Let us hope that such incidents never happen again; but in case they do, it would be wise to create a crisis management committee featuring representatives from all TV channels which would liaise with police before briefing viewers.

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