Beds and lying thereon

Greece’s bankers and entrepreneurs have grown increasingly critical of the local media, complaining about what they see as overly populist newspaper and television reports. Their grievances are mostly justified. The truth is that many working in the Greek media are having trouble getting to grips with a number of serious issues simply because they lack the necessary knowledge. These journalists behave as if Greece were the center of the universe and, as a result, they readily resort to populism. In no other country is the same troupe called upon to comment on celebrities, the election of Barack Obama or bond spreads. And in no other country do television commentators so openly express their opinion on the basis of their own personal interests. I for one agree with those who claim that journalism – like the public administration and the health and education sectors – needs to be reinvented in this country. That said, I can’t help wondering what all these bankers and entrepreneurs were up to when the media status quo was in a slightly different mode. That is, when the inexplicable borrowing, spacious press offices and «special relationships» ensured immunity during the golden days of the big party. The Greek media were no less populist back then. But the press «system» was on the side of the elite. Greece’s elites must at some point begin to look beyond their noses and understand that transparency is in the interest of all. They must realize that by helping to improve education and journalism in the country, they will in the long term help themselves. Sure, one can maximize one’s profit by seducing politicians and the media. But at some point one is bound to face the impasses created by the same politicians and media that were once of benefit. They’ve made their bed, now they must sleep in it.