OPINION

Media spectacles

Senior high school pupils taking the national examinations were asked to write an essay on the role of the media in our modern societies – possibly because universities’ media departments are among the most popular schools. We can’t possibly know whether pupils are attracted to journalism courses because they believe that journalism is a vocation or merely because they are captivated by the prestige of television stars. Similarly, we can’t know the number of pupils who started their essays quoting the well-known slogan: «thugs, informers, journalists» or the number of pupils who concluded their compositions not by mentioning some other moral dictum but rather with another slogan: «Freedom to the imprisoned television viewers.» This slogan was chanted, like the previous one, during demonstrations commemorating the anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising. Perhaps pupils avoided expressing such extreme views, as they usually feel they have to answer the questions set using pleasant-sounding and uncontroversial phrases (such as «Communication is the cornerstone of democracy,» or «Information is a social good») rather than grumble, for then they run the risk of being denounced as mean-hearted… It seems tough, that a very short essay, no more than eight words, would also answer the question: «I do not want to become a spectacle.» This alone highlights the perverse albeit now typical role of the media… It was said by the father of the little girl who was found murdered in Ioannina a few days ago…