Seismic report ruffles feathers

Seismologists struggling for funds, journalists who have forgotten the nature of their profession, and idle media pundits who make a living out of breaching copyright regulations have all attacked Kathimerini, ostensibly upset by the disclosure of Professor Vassilis Papazachos’s report. Stating themselves to be watchful magistrates, guardians of the social order, and defenders of national interests, they all lashed out at Kathimerini for allegedly committing the worst of sins: The publication of a scientific report on seismic activity, a report which has been presented at scientific conferences and which has repeatedly been studied by state committees. Before attacking Kathimerini, of course, they made sure they reproduced Kathimerini’s story and reprinted the maps of earthquake high-risk zones. The modern hypocrites and Pharisees got what they wanted – and then attacked our newspaper. But they disregarded one simple fact: Newspapers exist in order to make disclosures, raise issues and inform people, with respect for the principles of science and investigation, and without taboos or prejudice. So, on what grounds did our critics argue that the report should have been kept secret, when it has been presented and the measures it proposed have been evaluated? Who is to determine what is to be published and what not, and who can withhold such important information on the grounds that making it public would damage tourism? These days, the US media are full of reports of an impending terrorist attack. Should they suppress information to protect Wall Street? Last of all, can these critics state in all frankness that they would not have published the report had it come into their hands? So much for those who seem to have forgotten the nature of their work. The rest of what they said must be dismissed, as part and parcel of an envious rivalry.