Is Athens seeking to control journalists?
The Greek government and opposition are at odds over plans to help the ailing Lambrakis Press Group. Prime Minister Tsipras has announced a new law aimed at providing support for the company. In addition former Syriza MP Moulopoulos is to act as the group's new head. Journalists take differing views of the government's plans.
Tsipras is making a bid to control the media
The government can hardly conceal its attempt to influence the media, Eleftheros Typos critises:
“A few weeks ago Tsipras called the Lambrakis Press Group a 'bubble that would burst'. Yesterday he called it a historic and reliable enterprise. ... Just last week the prime minister told demonstrators that they would be better off reading no newspapers at all [because of all the negative stories]. Now he will hardly be able to convince us that he is interested in supporting this sector that has done so much to discredit him and others before him. ... The government's goal is to control the flow of information and not to purge the media of those it doesn't like. It tried to do the same thing - unsuccessfully - with TV licences.”
Press landscape not so easy to change
Fears that by helping the ailing media group Syriza will gain too much influence over its journalists are exaggerated, Kathimerini argues:
“These journalists are not spineless creatures who change their behaviour every time they get a new boss. The fact that a former Syriza MP is now in charge of solving the media group's structural and economic problems doesn't mean they will all start writing like the pro-government daily Avgi. ... These are difficult times for the press and for press freedom as a whole in our country. But Moulopoulos can't turn editing teams with a deep-rooted tradition into pro-government media overnight.”