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British are more interested in Bulgarian corruption than from European politics

27 November 2008 / 08:11:57  GRReporter
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“The British are more interested in Bulgarian corruption and the global financial crisis than in European policy”, stated the director of the parliamentary BBC channel Peter Nowels during the conference “The TV news and the European policy”, which was held today in Athens. The conference was organized by representatives of the European parliament and the European commission in Greece. Top journalists from big European private and state TV stations took part in it.

From the point of view of the British practice Peter Knows stressed that reporting news connected to European institutions is easy and hard. It is easy because European institutions help out journalists by making things easier – cameras, operators, studios, video archive, and all this is free. It is hard because the mechanisms by which European institutions function and European politics form are complicated for journalists to understand. “In Great Britain the viewer has to come across with the peculiarities of the British, Welsh, Scottish, and North Irish parliaments. He has to be familiar with the compromises, the coalitions, and the politics of the parliament and European institutions are coming too much,” also said Peter Nowels.

“The manner in which we represent European institutions reminds me of the manner, in which we represent NATO here in Greece,” is the opinion of Yannis Pretenderis, a reporter in the private TV station MEGA and editor in chief of the Sunday edition of “Vima” newspaper. He reminded that during the 80s the NATO high level meetings were represented by the Greek media in details due to the conflicts with Turkey. When they quiet off, the interest in those meetings also decreases and this tendency lasted for over 15 years until April this year when Greece exercised its veto rights in relations to the Macedonian participation in the organization at the meeting in Bucharest. At this time this was the N.1 news in all Greek media. “When Brussels produces news, they are news in the private TV stations as well, just like this is happening with the EU’s reaction to the financial crisis,” concluded Yannis Pretenderis.

“With the existence of the EU European citizens feel more protected from the global financial crisis, unlike citizens of other countries, which are not part of the union. Look what happened in Iceland – citizens went out on the streets and asked from their government to join the EU,” stresses Giorgos Koumoutzakos, spokesman of the Greek Foreign Affairs ministry. Despite this, he believes European citizens are detachment from the European institutions, because they don’t receive enough information. “Citizens must know that the European Union is taking care of them,” believes Giorgos Koumoutzakos.

The participants in the discussion agreed that EU politics are so diverse that at the end they cover all fields. This is why it is a journalists’ obligation to include European dimension in each article – whether it is general politics, common EU members’ problems, or good efforts, which can be shared within the EU states.

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