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Athens Voice: We are telling the bitter truth. Exclusive for GRReporter

20 November 2010 / 11:11:16  GRReporter
15713 reads

Emanuela Karastoyanova


Athens Voice voice or translated the voice of Athens is organizing for the seventh consecutive year already meetings with the inhabitants of the Greek capital. As it befits a free press, meetings are held on the street. Every Thursday, the newspaper appears in certain parts of the city to inform and provide a completely independent perspective on past and upcoming events. To dissect the actual problems and give its ruthless assessment... one which the young people in the city are eagerly anticipating.

Athens Voice has almost become a reference journal for each student. It is also read by adults who are looking for something out of the box. Information in it is alive and the pulse of the city is real. The newspaper criticizes thoughts and writes about the hottest issues of the city, presenting them raw, and unadulterated. But a lot of heart and love is put into it. As the publisher, Fotis Georgele says himself, the people behind the newspaper "live Athens" and are far more than journalists. Here's what he told us:


What is currently the voice of Athens? Is it sad or a is there a touch of optimism? And as the saying goes, is there a message?

When 7 years ago the magazine first appeared, the voice was optimistic. Things in Athens were different. Then we turned to a city that was changing, accepting people from neighboring countries and could play the role of capital of the Mediterranean region. Now it's different. In recent years we noticed a decadence. Things have evolved in other directions not in the one I imagined them to evolve when we started. Athens now has many more problems, the reasons for which are many. One of them is the economic crisis. But what Athens Voice aims is not so much to send messages as to reflect the city. If it has dynamism and vitality, things are also going well, I think it is as you said. Voice of Athens becomes more optimistic. When Athens is gray, struggling against waste, various problems, conflicts on a national basis in its neighborhoods and with the slums in the historical center, the voice is a little bit pessimistic. The concern can be felt. But this is exactly what we are trying to do. To cover the stories. An ideological eye of Athens Voice is the open city. We try not to be bound, to stay away from the national ideologies that exist in each nation. To be able to see the future the viability and the progress of the town and not what is isolated. This is the collision, which each city, each capital and every nation experiences.

Athens Voice is a specific media. With original perspectives, breaks the stereotypes and lets the reader think... Often rebels, and along with this it is especially democratically disposed. It loves the city and its inhabitants... Clearly, the people behind the paper put their heart and soul into it. How do you build such a team and such media?

Well, that was partly by accident. I wanted to create something more than a newspaper, something like body. The people who chose and gathered around me were not only journalists. All of them were active citizens who ded things. Some of them are writers, others are DJs, musicians, artists. Some others are dealing with graffiti, comic books, others write screenplays. Sometimes I even get angry and tell them: "You are mostly something else than journalists. You don’t submit your texts on time..." etc. But this is the magic of the newspaper. You see that all these people live the things and are close with the town.

Is this the recipe for success?

Yes, that's it. Because, you know, people in town know them. One of them for example they know because he writes the lyrics of songs, the other one because he plays the music in the bar... Kraounakis is a composer Triandafilou is one of the greatest writers that Greece has at the moment. Pehlivanidis is an artist, he has exhibitions, deals with a comic book. But of course, they are also journalists. Our newspaper is not built by people who are not journalists. These are double majors, thanks to which it is not as "Ta Nea" for example, where the journalist makes a reportage, creates the news and that's. Later someone might write a comment at most. We, here live things. That’s why the language is different, closer to the reader. The same happens on other levels. Through participation in various civil movements, we reach to an exchange. Now the elections all people were very mixed politically. But not in terms of a party, but as a citizens' initiative. For Athens, for the park for example etc.

Tags: Athens Voice free press Athens interview
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