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96.74% of Greeks believe that their journalists are manipulated

26 May 2013 / 15:05:39  GRReporter
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"The journalist, who writes freely, writes well."

This paraphrase of Rigas Feraios’s thought illustrates the modern era when press freedom is questioned in many regions of the world. 3 May is defined by the United Nations as World Press Freedom Day and, on this occasion, students from the group "Four" of the Master's programme Quality Journalism And New Technologies (, organised a series of events that will end in late May.

These events include a series of radio broadcasts on Radio ERA to which listeners actively responded through telephone calls and questions that showed their concern, as well as a documentary that will be shown on some of the national TV channels. In parallel, the twitter discussion # PressFreedomDay is still continuing, as long as there are people who are concerned about press freedom. 80 journalists answered questions posed by students, helping them find out where Greece is located on the world map of press freedom. Furthermore, 800 people expressed their concern openly, answering a questionnaire and creating an open dialogue on twitter. This is an innovative activity of educational nature, intended to collect views on the new situation of the media, their freedom and new technology and how all this influences and changes the ways in which people communicate.

Head of the Master's programme Marios Notas, commenting on the results of the study, said that the Internet has enabled journalists to reach a whole new audience. The credibility of new media outweighs the traditional ones. This is due to the fact that they are interactive, allowing direct comments, criticism, even if they do not support the quality of the content, Notas added. 87.39% of the audience responded that journalists express themselves more freely on the net. TV is at the other end - only 0.5% responded that there is freedom of expression on TV.

"In connection with the serious issue of credibility, we reached the conclusion that citizens trust the Internet and not the TV with a very big difference - 89.7% of the audience responded that they prefer being informed by the net, compared to a total of 10.3% who prefer television (2.74%), radio (3.86%) and print media (3.73%).

"Freedom of the press and quality of journalism is in direct relation to finance. In order to talk about independent media, i.e. democracy and quality of life, we need to have emancipated media, independent of sponsors and organised interests. In an ideal society, the media could ignore the centres of power. This could happen only if there were finances outside the traditional advertising and subscription sales. Methods are being examined and somewhere they are being applied experimentally," added the director of the Master's programme.

The overwhelming majority of citizens - 96.74% raised concerns: they responded and believed that journalists are influenced. But the net is the field where journalists can change that percentage.

You Tube’s channel is also very interesting, where you can find material from interviews in Vienna carried out by 20 students with senior executives from digital editions of the European Online Publishers Association.

All results of the study can be found on

The Master's programme Quality Journalism And New Technologies is an initiative of academics from Greece and Austria, as a result of the programme Qualitat Journalismus of the Austrian University. It involves the Athena Research Centre, DUK University of Krems - Austria, Athanassios V. Botsis Foundation, and has the scientific support of the Department of Communication and Media Technology with the National Technical University (NTUA). The Master’s programme lasts two years. It is designed for professional journalists who speak two languages and preferably have a degree in humanities.

Tags: media internet television press freedom survey
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