You’ve probably heard by now Greece is in trouble. The once prosperous EU nation is in a fiscal situation never before seen in the western world, except during a time of war.
In an effort to curb unnecessary spending on miniscule vices, the Greeks are electing to control creative license by limiting TV licensees sought-after by independent broadcasters. The regulation went into effect last Saturday.
Under the rule, television stations must bid for decade-long licenses through auctions. Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragassakis said the move is “part of a wider plan.” Dragassakis notes the regulation will attempt to change political and banking systems, restructuring them so Greek media doesn’t live off of continuous loans that are unlikely to see repayment.
These “vampire businesses,” Dragassakis stated, create a pattern of repayment that runs the nation further into debt, living off of free money.
It’s all in an effort to halt private-sector corruption and mend the latest $95 billion bailout given to Greece in 2010 from international lenders, according to the parliament.
Many opposition groups of the legislation say just the opposite — it’s the Greek’s way of controlling a sector slowly overtaking a once hailed state-run media institution.
Greek’s latest move shines a light on a growing concern in the western world regarding media control and a limitation on free markets in free market economies (such as the United States). Many critics of American media have often said the news is too controlled in the hands of a few conglomerates and multi-millionaires who pander to set constituents.
There are problems with the Greek system. How does the government not control the media if they are controlling the auctions? Are the Greeks afraid of privately-held media groups and what they might report?
Media today is much different than even five years ago. With the emergence of social media, everyone is a reporter and media groups — even state run — must realize the issues apparent in the future of reporting (or not reporting) and the implications destine to arise.
States are becoming less able to control media and how information is shared since information is so widely shared in such an instantaneous manner. But they will still attempt to bring notice to their cause. Perhaps not for long.