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“The Media”

Papathanassopoulos, S. (2020), “The Media” in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics, Edited by Kevin Featherstone and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, Oxford: Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198825104.013.26.

This chapter describes the structure and development of the media sector in Greece. It explores the relationship between media, political elites, and vested private interests. It examines the major features of the Greek media system, characterized by a) low levels of newspaper circulation; b) a tradition of advocacy reporting; c) instrumentalization of privately owned media; d) tight governmental control of the public broadcaster; e) politicization of media regulation, and f) limited development of journalism as an autonomous profession. Furthermore, it argues that the Greek state has played a decisive role in the development of the media sector either as legislator, owner, or ‘sponsor’. Within this framework, it explores the closing-down and re-opening of the public broadcaster, the development of digital television in Greece, and the attempts of the government to grant licences to the TV sector. Finally, it discusses whether the Greek media landscape has entered a new era of ‘interplay’ between media owners and politicians in the digital age, while the citizens, especially the younger generations, have turned heavily to social media for their daily political information and commentary.