I watched a magazine on state broadcaster ERT on Tuesday afternoon. Among others, a project with teenager school kids about “violence” was featured. The teenagers were asked to describe what is violence and how they deal with it. What was interested was that many of the teenagers focused on “violence and the media” – notably: the Greek media and thus the “news programs”.
In summary, the teenagers said live on camera:
“What the media do is violence, they keep focusing on negative news, they repeat again and again the same negative news, they present the news one-sided, they twist the news, they manipulate, they omit everything positive, they are up to scaremonger the people.”
They were not sure as to why the media have been doing this in the last 5-6 years of the crisis. But some stressed -even though vague – that “there are the interests of the media owners behind this strategy.”
The teens criticized the media for doing this and underlined that when “media, that is television channels show this one-sided news the society has no alternative but to believe what it hears.”
On the contrary, “the internet offers different options for those seeking objective information, as users have the choice,” the teenagers stressed.
It was in fact a small group of secondary education students but their point of views precisely mirrored what the Greek society has been experienced in the years of the economic crisis. Who can forget the reports of some private television channels (oh, no, I don’t name names) that have been bombarding the TV-audience with millions and billions of euro in form of austerity cuts each and every Saturday evening during the prime time news.
Given this experience and the school children approach, one should not wonder that Prime Time News have gone down and down in the preference of the audience, especially the young ones.
The credibility of the media and thus the News on TV has been heavily injured in the six years of the crisis and it will be impossible to heal the wound.
The school project was featured on afternoon magazine “On ERT”.
On Sunday, a 13-year-old was among those detained by Greek police who have triggered riots and caused damages during the Anniversary of the murder of teenager Alexis Grioropoulos by a police special guard in 2008. “The Kid” was allegedly throwing stones to the police together with the other rioters. Among the 26 detained on Sunday, 6 were under-aged.
The media were shocked and blamed the parents for having neglected their duty thus unable to go deep into the roots of such a social problem. The police knew to say that “the minors were recruited by older rioters.” And the story ended briefly with the news that the 13-year-old and another minor were released form detention.
But what do the media and the society have to offer to “kids” and “teenagers” nowadays? A new no-future generation has been growing up in Greece in the last six years, a generation with no perspective and zero options for the future except unemployment and social isolation.