This morning I was trying to find some positive news to write about. Something like “The Good News of the Day”. For a change, you know… But not matter how hard did I try, I didn’t find anything.
We, Greeks, are going through economically difficult and socially disheartening times. We are depressed and depressive societies produce depressive news.
Many of my friends are still under shock caused by the assassination of investigative reporter and blogger Sokratis Giolias. None of them did know him. Some even didn’t like his methods or his work. But it is his death that has shocked them; the way a mastermind plans and executes a human with 13, 14, 15 bullets. One of my friends is shocked because “it shows how cheap life has become in Greece”, as he says. One is shocked and even scared for the same reason. Her neighbors were recently attacked and robbed by criminals. Here is the point I want to write about: About how cheap life has become in Greece.
From the side of the police there is nothing new. There is no clue about who pulled the trigger. Giolias’ pregnant wife, a witness to the murder, has not testified yet. Too heavy is still the psychological load, too shocking the event. Will she give some important hints?
People question police’s abilities
People I know express their concern that the culprits will not be caught. They even doubt the abilities of the police to combat terrorists or criminals. A friend was telling me how discouraged he was by the police when he tried to file a lawsuit against “unknown thieves”, who stole EUR 500 from his elder father. Another one noticed suitably that police arrested by accident the majority of local terrorists because they (the terrorists) made mistakes or a bomb exploded in their hands.
We all know here that “no news” produce no news for the media people. There are no clues about the murders of Giolias, no ‘group’ has claimed responsibility so far. But funny enough, a reporter was claiming a hour ago on state television, that “police is waiting for Sect of Revolutionaries –group to claim responsibility within the week”. Go figure about the news we hear here in this country!
Without clues about the culprits Giolias’ ‘story’ will be soon forgotten as did the bomb at the Ministry for Public Protection, killing a police officer, as did the killing of three people and an unborn baby at Marfin Bank. The crimes remain unsolved and forgotten, until the next bomb explodes, the next bullets fall and “Greece is under shock” again.
Greeks and the mainstream media
We are under shock and helpless. We get bombarded with news that have nothing to do with us, the audience, the ordinary people. They have nothing to do with us then we get no information of any use. We get merciless bombardment of empty and indifferent statements instead and loads of economical figures and numbers that no average man or woman can absorb or evaluate. Yes, the economic situation is bad. Yes, politicians have to promote themselves via the media. But what’s the use for me as an average, conscious and thinking citizen?
Last night I was watching ( well, I was rather listening to “sounds”) a prime time news broadcast. A TV channel was reporting some 10 -12 minutes long about members of parliament arguing against each other. I didn’t even bother to listen to, I didn’t even bother to figure what was the issue. I don’t need to know, who is the smartest guy in the Greek parliament. From politicians I want to see real deeds. I don’t want to hear future promises.
The report ended and was soon followed by another, this time with highest judges ( you don’t believe it , right?) fighting an oral tug of war on what happened to the deposits of social security institutions amounting astronomical numbers of billions of euros. These amounts are nowadays reduced to half and the money is forever gone because some ‘smart guys’ from the administration had invested them in dubious stock exchange bonds.
The majority of my friends (30-55 years old, university educated people, some journalists ) does not watch the news anymore, does not buy newspapers, even the Sunday editions. They and I get the information portion we need everyday via the internet whether it is news websites local and international or blogs.
Politicians are disdained in this country. Too many are the scandals, too high the corruption. Disdained are also the journalists. Too dark is the ‘web’ of interests for mutual back scratching among politics, media and business world.
Ordinary people know that. And that’s why they have turned their backs to newspapers, to TV news or radio news or any kind.
Ordinary people feel, they have been crashed among the millstones of corruption, patronage, cronyism, favoritism, depreciation of institutions and disregard of laws. Ordinary people feel, they have been crashed between the luck of political vision and fear of economic future.
A lifestyle columnist insults the shot journalist and divides the bloggosphere
In this atmosphere of subliminal tension, here pops up a lifestyle columnist, actor and EUROVISION presenter at state TV and provokes with a column published on the internet on the day of Giolias’ assassination.
“ I will vomit on the hallowing (of Giolias)” she writes in a Greek blog run by the local established media prominence. And she continues in a vulgar way: “What jerk proclaimed him a hero?”
I don’t bother to translate the insulting column or her arguments against the anonymity of the blogs or whether he was a ‘good journalist’ like her or not. The news about this column spreads like fire in internet. Within hours the Greek bloggosphere is divided. What causes an outrage among readers is primarily that investigative reporter and blogger Giolias still lies on the morgue, when she posts her column. Bloggers turn against established journalists, and the readers fluently comment, applauding or attacking her. One writes that “she shot him once again” and another that “she had vomited over his open grave”. Others simply congratulate her for saying “the things by their names”.
The Greek bloggosphere “forgets” about Giolias and the life-style columnist attracts people’s attention. Well done!
Yes, I will agree with my friends. Life has become cheap in Greece. This is the real depressive thing and a sign of not only economical but also morally-bankrupt society.