ELIAMEP workshop on ‘Greek media policy’

The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) organised a workshop on Greek media policy. The workshop took place on 3 March 2011 at ELIAMEP in Athens. The workshop started with a brief introduction to the MEDIADEM project, online its scope, objectives and methodology, and continued with a presentation of the findings of the Greek background information report by Evangelia Psychogiopoulou, the scientist in charge of the Greek MEDIADEM research team.

Evangelia Psychogiopoulou discussed the proliferation of state and non-state actors (i.e. ministries, independent regulatory authorities and professional unions) that are involved in national media policy making and implementation and addressed the complexities and shortcomings of the national institutional set-up. Attention was also drawn to the importance that the European institutions have gained in the development of media regulation. The workshop then proceeded with a presentation of the regulatory framework for the media, focusing on the constitutional provisions as well as structural and content regulation for different types of media (print, broadcast and new media). The clientelistic relationships between the political system and the media, coupled with the complexity of the rules enacted were identified as the principal reasons behind the failure of the Greek state to implement a coherent media policy. Consideration was also afforded to recent regulatory developments, such as the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive into the Greek legal order and the new media law that is currently being prepared by the government. According to government’s announcements, this law will introduce rules for the much awaited passage to digital terrestrial broadcasting and measures to help media companies deal with the economic crisis, including less stringent media ownership rules.

In the discussion that followed participants reflected upon the principal characteristics of the national regulatory framework and exchanged ideas and opinions about the state of Greek media policy and the challenges it faces both in an online and offline environment. Throughout discussion participants expressed their concerns about the limited attention that is afforded to the monitoring and enforcement of domestic legislation and the potential impact of the economic crisis on the media, their freedom and independence.