Greece, officially called the Hellenic Republic, is a country situated in southern Europe, on the Mediterranean, in the southern part of Balkans. The official language is Greek (99 percent). The population is estimated at 11.2 million people (2007). The literacy level is considerably high, 90.8 percent of the population can read and write . In 1981 Greece joined the EC; it became the 12th member of the eurozone in 2001. Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 42 percent of GDP and with per capita GDP of at least 87.51 percent of the eurozone economies .
2. Traditional Media
2.1 Print Media
There are a total of 82 newspapers with national circulation in Greece today. Among them, eight are morning editions, 13 evening, 22 Sunday and 16 weekly. Concerning specific content, there are six financial and 13 sport newspapers Furthermore, 607 newspapers (including the 65 local newspapers of Attica) circulate in a local or regional area. In November, 2000, the first free daily newspaper Metrorama (renamed to Metro) started circulating in Athens, followed by City Press in 2003 and others (eg., Lifo, Athens Voice). In 2008 the first Sunday freesheet (Free Sunday) was also launched. In terms of circulation, City Press has the highest with 271,000 readers, followed by Metro with 250,000 readers.
It is worth noting that the freesheet press has taken the lead in terms of advertising revenue. In 2007, Metro made about 6.1m euro from advertising
With reference to national newspapers’ circulation, Sunday newspapers take the lead with 56.2 percent of annual sales. Evening and weekly newspapers share the second place (11.9 percent and 11.4 percent respectively), followed by sports newspapers, (7.7 percent) daily (5.5 percent) and financial (0.09 percent) newspapers. Among the morning daily newspapers, the market leaders are Kathimerini with 47,682 copies, and To Vima with 44,144 copies. Regarding evening daily newspapers, the most popular in terms of readership seem to be Ta Nea with 55,014 copies, followed by Eleftherotypia (40,848 copies) and Ethnos (39,843copies). In the Sunday market, Proto Thema and To Vima tis Kyriakis share the majority of the Sunday readers (189,389 copies for To Proto Thema and 187,664 copies for To Vima tis Kyriakis), followed by Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia (153,085 copies).
Total newspaper sales figures show a continued decline from the late 1980s to the beginning of the 1990s, probably as a result of the introduction of private television in the late 1980s. From 1989 to 1992, as print and electronic media competition peaked, national newspapers lost approximately 28 percent of their circulation. Circulation figures fell from a daily average of 2.6m copies in 1989 to 1.9m in 1992. Over the same period, due to severe competition, many newspapers were forced to close down. The mid-’90s saw the majority of the Greek print media in a difficult financial situation.
By the end of the 1990s, the press was on a sounder financial footing. Circulation was again increasing, albeit tied to a partisan tradition and aligned toward political parties. But the press was also more pluralistic and critical. In particular, Sunday newspapers increased their circulation via the production of "quality" editions, which provided the public with in-depth analysis of events as well as entertainment and education. These papers also introduced special sections on the arts, science, etc. The years that followed (2000 to 2005), found the press in a good situation with a considerable rise in terms of circulation, approximately 26 percent
This increase did not last and today newspapers sell more or less at the same as they did at the beginning of the 1990s..
Today, the press is the second-most important source of information for Greeks (after television). Ownership is highly concentrated in the hands of few publishers These include: Lambrakis Press S.A., Pegasus Publishing and Printing S.A (Bobolas Publishing Group), Tegopoulos Publishing S.A (Tegopoulos Publishing Group), Kathimerini Publications S.A. (Alafouzos Publishing Group) and Acropolis, (Apogevmatini Publishing Group).
There is a trend toward intense segmentation and a decrease in income from advertising (16.6 percent less compared to 2008), in the magazine sector. Today there are circulated about 174 magazines circulated in Greece; there are titles for every conceivable need and interest. Competition between the different types of magazines is strong. Glossy publications now have to compete with free supplements provided in Sunday newspapers, which have proved very popular (eg. ‘Vimagazino’ To Vima tis Kyriakis or “Big Fish,” To Proto Thema).
Radio is another important source of information and entertainment in Greece. The public broadcasting organisation, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation S.A. (ERT S.A.), owns five radio broadcasting stations: Second Programme, ERA-3, NET Radio, ERA Sport, KOSMOS. The first non-pirate private radio station was Athena 9.84 FM, which went on air in 1987 broadcast by the Municipality of Athens. Currently, around 1,058 radio stations broadcast regularly in Greece (among them 56 in Attica prefecture) The vast majority are private and transmit locally or regionally. Most private stations (928) are not officially licensed but are considered eligible to be awarded a licence.
Multicultural radio is also on a development track due to the cultural diversity that characterises Greek society after an influx of immigrants and the EU EQUAL programme. In Greece, there is a range of multicultural radio stations, such as Athens & Thessaloniki Community Radio, Radio Filia, which broadcast via local frequency or via Internet. There are also world service radio stations, such as the International Hellenic Radio Network, owned by ERT, which transmit via AM to Mediterranean countries, Baltic and Black Sea countries, western Europe, Africa and nearby Asian countries. In addition, Greek radio stations adopt their programmes for multicultural publics (such as Athens 9.84, Skai Radio). Around 40.6 percent of immigrants to Greece listen to the radio on daily basis.
Most radio stations broadcast news and music. In terms of audience, Skai Radio (owned by Alafouzos Publishing Company) takes the lead (10.8 percent) over Rythmos (8.4 percent), which has a music format. In recent years, there has been an increase in sport radio programmes with Nova Sport FM in the lead with 7.1 percent of the market.
Television is a well-established means of information, entertainment and culture in contemporary Greek society. After the deregulation of 1989 and the end of state monopoly, private television reached Greek households and dominated the market. There are 3.7m Greek households equipped with television sets.
The public operators in Greece are ERT S.A (ERT), which owns three TV channels (ET-1, NET, ET-3) and Vouli TV. The latter is dedicated to live broadcasts of the Hellenic Parliament’s proceedings. Both transmit nationally. There are eight private national television stations under official licence: 902 Aristera sta FM, Alpha TV, Alter, Antenna (Ant1), Mega Channel (Mega), Skai TV (Skai), Star Channel (Star), Macedonia TV. Among the regional and local television stations, only three have an official licence: Tileasti, Tiletora and Municipal Channel of Thessaloniki. Another 123 have applied for a licence Television content is based on news shows, soap operas, reality shows, movies, sport and serials. Public television (ERT) and SKAI or the NOVA bouquet are the chief presenters of educational and documentary programmes.
There are also satellite broadcasting channels — the public ERT-World and Vouli TV — and the private channels Antenna-Sat, Mega Cosmos, Alpha Without Frontiers, Star International, Teleasty, Alter Globe, Channel 10, Mad International and Extra 3. Moreover, ERT broadcasts foreign satellite channels for free, including CNN International, Cyprus Sat, RIK 1, etc. Furthermore, Hellas Sat, the owner and agent of Hellas-Sat 2 satellite, provides services in Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
In terms of viewership, Mega Channel (22.1 percent) and Antenna (16.8%) control the market, followed by Alpha TV (15.1 percent) and Star (11.4 percent). On the other hand, public channels enjoy less market share in comparison to the private channels (NET 10.09 percent, ET-3 4 percent and ET-1 3.7 percent). However, regarding satellite television, public channels’ viewership (ERT-World) is much higher, reaching 37.9 percent in the US and 66.7 percent in Europe. In Australia and Canada, Antenna-Sat is more appealing (46.3 percent and 45.65 percent) The high viewership scores achieved by the private channels inevitably attracts more advertisers. Therefore, in the first quarter of 2009, Mega Channel earned 52.1m euro from advertising expenditure, followed by Antenna (34.7m) and Star (24.9m)
Multichoise Hellas is the first licence holder for the provision of pay-TV programmes. Multichoice Hellas founded the NOVA bouquet channels, which transmit via satellite and contain specific content programmes (such as movies, sport, documentaries etc.).
Cable television has not developed as an important distribution system, due to poor infrastructure. Until recently in Greece, laws forbid private operators to lay and operate cable infrastructure for telecommunications and/or broadcasting purposes (Law 2328, from 1995). Only the public broadcaster ERT and national telecom operator OTE could develop cable TV networks, set up subsidiary companies and undertake contracts with private and local government organisations for providing cable TV services. Law 2644, from 1998, “on the provision of subscription radio and television services and related regulations” rescinded this restriction. This provision has not encouraged the development of cable television; it is considered to be very costly. Cable TV network household penetration is below 1 percent. Greece, in general, has the least-developed system of cable or satellite television in the EU. The combined penetration is a mere 8.9 percent.
Cinema is a popular means of entertainment in Greece. According to the Greek Film Centre, an independent body that aims at the promotion of the Greek cinematography, in 2008 approximately 13 fiction films and 14 documentaries were created by Greek producers.
In 2007, 274 cinemas were registered in Greece, In 2008, 38.5 percent of Greeks went to cinema once. Cinema attendance has increased approximately 7.7 percent over 2006.
Until 1994, the Hellenic Organization of Telecommunications (OTE), a state entity, had a monopoly οn the sector. Since then, private telecommunication companies have entered the market providing high-quality services and forcing the implementation of broadband services.
Private companies have introduced new products and services, had competitive prices, provided high speed, etc. Today there are 969 enterprises that develop telecommunication services.
Among them, 151 are telephony providers (such as OTE, Vodafone etc) and six are mobile providers. In terms of the market, at constant telephony OTE is the dominant player. In the mobile market the leading companies are COSMOTE (a subsidiary company of OTE with 40 percent of the users), followed by Vodafone (31 percent) and Wind (29 percent).
The telecommunication sector is being supervised by the National Regulatory Authority for Electronic and Postal Services (EETT), which issues and provides official licences to service providers.
3. New Media
Since the implementation of the operational programme Information Society, online services have gradually assumed a significant role in everyday communication. Almost four of every 10 Greek households have Internet access and the PC has become a household appliance. One in three Greeks is using the Internet on a weekly basis, 66 percent use it daily. Furthermore, 64 percent of Greeks use advanced Internet services such as telephone and video calls via Internet, forums, blogs, music downloads and Internet games. In the business domain, despite the spread of broadband networks in small and medium enterprises, e-commerce remains at a low level. One in 5 enterprises buys via Internet and one in 10 sells. However, there is an increase in use of the online services of the public sector.
3.2 Digital media
One of the pillars of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 – 2013 (PDF) is digital convergence. The term refers to the spread and promotion of the use of information and communication technologies, by enterprises as well as the public sector, for the benefit of the citizen and the improvement of quality of life.
Since 2007, Greece has made strides in the establishment of broadband networksand service the country place among developing countries in broadband services. In 2008, broadband services were estimated at 1.5m lines (among them 184,625 wireless connections via mobile services).
Focusing on digital media, most of the media companies have developed portals (enet.gr, in.gr, naftemporiki.gr, etc). According to Alexa, a web information company, among the top sites users visit in Greece are: in.gr (ninth overall), zougla.gr (18th most popular), nafteboriki.gr (28th most popular).
Apart from online services (e-commerce, etc.), digital television has been on the air since 1999. Multichoice Hellas (which has the rights to distribute pay-TV) developed the first digital platform in Greece, called Nova, providing satellite digital services. Nova offers a rich bouquet of national and international channels, such as Nova Cinema, Supersport, Discovery Channel, National Geographic. In 2006, the state broadcasting organization (ERT) entered the digital field. It offers ERT Digital, with three channels, Prisma Plus (entertainment and informative programmes especially designed for people with special needs), Cine Plus (dedicated to films, documentaries) and Sport Plus. Telecommunication providers, such as On Telecoms and OTE have also launched trial versions of digital television services.
In book sector, in May, 2009, Kastaniotis Editions launched the first device for ebooks, the BeBook.
In January, 2010, some changes were made to digital terrestrial television in Greece. In particular, Greece, following the AVMS, is due to switch off analogue TV by the end of 2012. In this respect, the private TV operators (Alpha, Alter, Antenna, Macedonia TV, Mega, Skai, Star) have established a company named Digea to undertake digital broadcasting of television programmes for private stations of national range (as well for any other private station wishing to have that service).
- Alexa.com - Report on top-sites in Greece
- Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT)
- Kastaniotis Editions, BeBook
4. Media organisations
4.1 News agencies
The two leading news agencies in Greece merged in 2006. The merger joined Athens News Agency (ANA), which was founded in 1895, with the Macedonian News Agency (MPA), founded by the state in 1991 in Thessaloniki. The aim behind this union was the creation of a powerful national news agency. The agency has approximately 250 employees, 180 are journalists. It has offices in Brussels, Istanbul, Nicosia and Berlin and correspondents all around the world (Washington, New York, Montreal, Melbourne, London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Belgrade, Skopje, etc.). In addition, it collaborates with a number of leading international news agencies (eg., Reuters, AFP, DPA, ITAR-TASS), national news agencies (eg., Cretian News Agency), as well as the EPA photography agency. All the agency’s services are online in Greek (130 news items updated daily), English (60-70 news items) and French (between 15-20 news items). The agency has four data banks in Greek (news, biographies of Greek and foreign personalities, election results and sports) and a data bank in English (since 1992) which contains all the news items printed in the daily English Electronic Bulletin.
Many other news agencies are regionally situated (eg. the Cretan News Agency, Aegean News) or cover a specific thematic areas eg. sports (Sport Idea, Action image), religion (eg. The Religious News Network), agriculture (Agrnonews Agency), Greek diaspora (Hellenic World, Greek American news agency, Diaspora News Agency etc.), photography (Inke photography agency).
4.2 Trade unions
In Greece there are several journalism unions with a long history of trade action. Several journalism unions are organised around geographical regions. The Union of Journalists of Daily Newspapers of Athens, the Union of Journalists of Daily Newspapers of Macedonia-Thrace; the Union of Journalists of Daily Newspapers of Peloponissos, Epirus and Islands; the Union of Journalists of Daily Newspapers of Thessaly, Sterea, Evia; and the Union of Journalists of Periodical Press. Finally, the Pan Hellenic Confederation of Associations of ERT's Personnel represents the employees of the public broadcasting sector.
There are a number of employers’ associations: The Association of Athens Daily Newspaper Publishers, Association of Daily Provincial Newspaper Publishers, The Association of Regional TV Channels, The Union of Owners of Athenian Private Radio Stations.
The Association of Regional TV Channels represents the major regional private TV channels. The Union of Owners of Athenian Private Radio Stations represents the majority of the private radio stations of the greater Athens area. These two groups are among the most significant associations of the private broadcasting sector.
Other major industry organisations include: The National Private TV Channels Association, the Hellenic Association of Radio Owners, the Hellenic Radio Technicians Association, the Greek Association of Film Critics and the Association of Greek Film Producers – Directors.
4.3 Other media outlets
Greece, as a member of the EU MEDIA Programme, has established Media Desk Hellas in an attempt to develop information and audiovisual services.
The Hellenic Audiovisual Institute (IOM), a scientific body supervised by the General Secretariat of Information - Communication, conducts research and studies on the audiovisual media (television, cinema, radio, multimedia and new technologies). In addition to the IOM, the Institute of Communication, a nonprofit organisation, aims to establish closer cooperation between academia and the professional media sector. In the film sector, the nonprofit film organisation STUDIO-parallel circuit, supplies artistic films to the parallel, non-commercial circuit of film distribution.
Since 2006, the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive has worked toward the conservation and preservation of audiovisual elements of historic and cultural heritage.
The Institute of Journalistic Studies and Research and the Hellenic Institute of Marketing work in the research field.
- News agencies
- Trade unions
- Other media outlets
5. National media policies
5.1 Media legislation
The Greek Constitution has guaranteed freedom of expression since 1975. Article 14 states that every person may express his thoughts orally, in writing and through the press in compliance with the laws of the state. Furthermore, the article states that the press is free; censorship, as well as the seizure of newspapers and other publications before or after publication, is prohibited.
The right to reply to errors published or broadcast in the press is also guaranteed in article 14 of the Constitution.
The constitutional basis of media ownership derives from paragraph No. 9 of the same article. This paragraph outlines the obligation for media outlets to register ownership status and information regarding the financing of the outlet. The paragraph goes further to directly prohibit the concentration of ownership.
Finally, article 15 of the Greek constitution states: “protective provisions for the press are not applicable to films, sound recordings, radio, television or any other similar medium for the transmission of speech or images. Radio and television shall be under the direct control of the state. The control and imposition of administrative sanctions are under the exclusive competence of the NCRTV, which is an independent authority, as specified by law.”.
Law 1092/1938 provides for a number of privileges for the press, such as a discount on telephone and postal tariffs. It also stipulates a number of obligations for the press, such as respect for the personality and privacy of an individual.
The law also refers to the respect for the truth and separating editorial comments from news content. When news outlets publish untrue or incorrect facts, they are required to publish a correction.
According to the same law, the press must respect different opinions It must also avoid inciting mass panic when publishing information. In cases of violations, accountability lies with the accusatory third party (if involved), but is the responsibility of the author, editor, manager and the owner of the newspaper.
The mission of ERT S.A., as stated in Law 1730/1987: is to organise, publicise and develop state radio and TV, the contribution of those means for public education and entertainment, as well the presentation of the activities of the Greek Parliament.
The law further stipulates that state TV and radio should reach as many social groups as possible and cover a wide range of topics since its purpose is not the increase of profit, but the satisfaction of public interest.
In 1989, Law 1866/1989 created commercial radio and TV sectors. This was the first step in the abolition of the state monopoly, which was completed later with Law 2328/1995. According to this law (revised by the Law 3592/2007, known as the “Law of the Basic Shareholder”), the NCRTV may grant licences for commercial TV and radio stations only when they (i.e. the private stations) would serve public interest. The commercial stations are obliged to provide high-quality programmes, objective information and news reports. They are also required to promote cultural development. The law allows the NCRTV to request information from radio and television stations regarding organisation and financing
The same law also sets limits for the concentration of media ownership. The law provides that a person and his relatives (up to the fourth degree) may own or participate in only:
- a maximum of two daily political newspapers distributed in Athens, Piraeus or Thessaloniki
- one daily financial paper and one daily sport paper circulated in Athens, Piraeus or Thessaloniki
- two non-daily provincial newspapers issued in different regions
- one Sunday publication.
Concentration of ownership is also restricted in the broadcast industry. According to the law known as the “Law of the Basic Shareholder,” a joint stock company can own 100 percent of a television station and/or one radio station. Ownership of more than one electronic information media company is prohibited.
The “Law of the Basic Shareholder” permits the parallel acquisition of shares in more than one media company under specific qualifications: the prospective owner should not be among the 10 basic shareholders of the company. Further, the prospective owner’s market share in both companies should not overcome 35 percent for the same media category (for example, two TV stations) or 32 percent for different media (for instance, one newspaper and one TV station) .
Media owners, partners, main shareholders or management executives may not act in a similar capacity in an enterprise that undertakes public administration. Nor may they act as a legal entity in the wider public sector who carries out works or supplies or provides services. This includes the activities of all types of related persons, such as spouses, relatives, financially dependent persons or companies
For non-EU media entities, concentration status is regulated by the law 2328/1995. Foreign entities may not own more than 25 percent of the total capital of a Greek media company.
Law 2644/1998 regulates subscription-based radio and television services through analogue or digital transmission either terrestrially or via cable or satellite. A competitive licensing procedure exists only for terrestrial transmission, due to the scarcity of specific frequencies. Yet, anyone applying for a satellite transmission licence must submit an application to the NCRTV. Licences are only granted to limited companies (S.A.), the shares of which should be registered.
The law limits licence holders in order to secure pluralism and to avoid the creation of dominant market positions. For example, an interested party may only participate in one company that provides subscription-based services using the same means of distribution as well as a second company that uses different means of distribution. Furthermore, any physical/legal entity can acquire a maximum of 40 percent of the total capital of one subscription-based television (or radio) company For further participation in other media industries, the provisions of Law 3592/2007 are applied.
At the same time, the state broadcaster, ERT S.A., is authorised to establish an affiliated company to provide subscription-based services. It is excluded from the licence-holding requirements as they have been defined by law for commercial companies.
Greece has ratified the amended the Television Without Frontiers (TVWF ) directive along with the Presidential Decree 100/2000 as a means to safeguard European TV productions, cultural diversity, protection of minors and the free flow of TV programmes within the internal market. In addition, Greece has made provisions to transpose national law with the New Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMS) by December, 2009,. Additionally, Greece participates in European initiatives to combat illegal and harmful content on the Internet (child pornography, content which incites hatred on grounds of race, sex, religion, nationality or ethnic origin).
There are also many laws regarding cinema and radio. Furthermore, there are a range of provisions in audiovisual, consumer and criminal law that protect citizens from harmful, discriminating, racist content, insult, libel, etc.
Other legislation impacts the media indirectly (eg. protection of personality).
The Presidential Decrees 100/2000 and the Decision of Minister of Press and Mass Media 6138/2000 each regulate, classify and demand labelling television programmes according to the degree of potential negative influence on the personality of minors.
A range of laws regulate the field of electronic communications (eg., Law 3431/2006 for electronic communications and Law 2867/2000 for the telecommunications field). Issues related to Internet crime (hacking, libel or slander) are dealt with in the criminal code.
5.2 Accountability systems
NCRTV creates rules and codes of ethics related to journalism, information, political programmes, advertisement et cetera. These rules are regulatory and mandatory. In particular, The Code of Journalist Ethics (Code of Ethics) issued by NCRTV, refers to themes related to journalistic morals and practices.
A Code of Conduct for News and Other Political Programs for journalists working for broadcast media was developed by the NCRTV in consultation with the National Federation of the Reporters' Associations, advertising agencies, and public and private broadcasters. It was ratified by a Presidential Decree (77/2003). The code applies to all radio and television broadcasts, both free-to-air and subscription services, and is intended to protect individuals' rights and respect for public order, pluralism and democracy within the framework of the Greek Costitution.
The NCRTV additionally issued The Code of Ethics on Broadcasting Advertisement, which regulates issues related to advertising, respect of privacy, human rights, copyright law and other matters.
The Code of Ethics of Greek journalists, which was ratified in 1988 by the five major journalists’ unions, recognises journalistic freedom and objectivity. Additionally, there is The Code of Ethics written by the Union of Owners of Daily Newspapers of Athens (AADNP), co-signed by the Union of Owners of Regional Newspapers.
The Hellenic Advertising Code contains the self-regulations agreed to by the advertising industry, major advertisers and the main media. Concerns to be handled with the self-regulatory process in two committees: first, the Committee for the Control of Advertisements, and second a Joint Committee for the Control of Advertisements.
It is worth noticing that following the codes of the NCRTV is mandatory, whereas the codes of journalists unions and other organisations constitute rather an ethical obligation. The NCRTV can also impose penalties (ie., halt the operation of the station as far as three months) in case of a violation of the codes.
5.3 Regulatory authority
The primary authority responsible for the media regulation and development is the General Secretariat of Information – Communication (former Ministry of Press & Mass Media). The General Secretariat of Information – Communication formulates state policy and ensures the adoption of legislative and prescriptive initiatives regarding the regulation of the wider sector of the mass media.
In the broadcast sector, the main regulatory body is the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), which was established by law (1866/1989) to oversee the operations of both state and private broadcasting. According to the law, the Council is an independent authority. Its members are officially independent in the execution of their tasks. The validity of its actions can only be reviewed by the courts and not by other state authorities.
The Council is involved in the procedures of granting licences for private TV and radio. It is responsible for making sure that licence-holders respect relevant laws and regulations. The Council has the power to impose penalties for violations of copyright and intellectual property infringements or violations of professional codes. In some cases, depending on the gravity of the violation, the Council may even suspend or cancel licences.
The TV Audience Research Control Committee (TV ARCC) controls and audits the television audience measurement system. It is comprised of representatives from: the Union of Hellenic Advertisers, the Union of Hellenic Advertising Agencies, the public broadcaster (ERT), major commercial broadcasters and the Association of Hellenic Market and Opinion Research Companies.
Here it is worth noting, the Assembly of Viewers and Listeners (ASKE), which plays an important consulting role regarding programming and advertising.
In the telecommunications field, National Regulatory Authority for Electronic and Postal Services (EETT) supervises and regulates telecommunications as well as the postal services market. It seeks to promote development by way of ensuring operations and providing protection of the interests of end users.
For the film regulation, the responsible body is the Ministry of Culture with contribution from the Greek Film Centre. The two aim for “the protection, support and development of the art of film in Greece” and “the presentation, promulgation and promotion of Greek films both at home and abroad.”
For media-related issues, there is a range of independent bodies such as the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE), the Hellenic Data Protection Authority.
Finally, a non-profit organisation, known as the Greek Self-Regulating Organisation for Internet Content, or Safenet, has been in operation since November, 1999. Safenet was founded and supported by the three largest Greek ISPs, the Greek National Research Network, the Greek Association of Internet Users and a large Greek Consumers Association (Ekpizo). Safenet’s aim is to promote self-regulation arrangements for safer use of the Internet by way of combating illegal and offensive content on the Internet. An additional objective is to raise awareness of issues regarding illegal and harmful content.
Laws, Regulations and Institutions
- General Secretariat of Communication-Information
- General Secretariat of National Statistical Service of Greece
- Hellenic Audiovisual Institute (IOM)
- National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV)
- National Regulatory Authority for Electronic and Postal Services (EETT)
- Television Without Frontiers - Directive 97/36/EC
- Hellastat.gr - The Greek Statistical and Economic Data Service
- For all the Laws and Codes see - Esr.gr - Iom.gr - Minpress.gr
6. Media resources
6.1 Learning and support
Graudate and post-graduate courses of studies about mass media are available at: the University of Athens (Department of Communication & Mass Media), Panteion University (Communication, Media & Culture), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Department of Journalism and Mass Communication), Technical Institution of Western Macedonia (Department of Public Relations and Communication), and at Technical Institution of Patras (Department of Informatics and Mass Media).
A range of foundations, organisations and other bodies support the media field: Lilian Voudouris’ Foundation, theInstitution of Promotion of Journalism Athanasiou Botsi, Lambrakis Foundation.
6.2 Prime sources for detailed information
There most significant primary source for detailed information about media in Greece are: the General Secretariat of Communication – Information for the Hellenic Audiovisual Institute, which provides a detailed account of the Greek media landscape (legislative, regulatory framework, media organisations, media research, national policies etc.); the Association of Athens Daily Newspaper Publishers and the National Statistical Service of Greece, as well as The Greek Statistical and Economic Data Service, which provide statistical information; (c) Infopublica (Publicity Guide), which publishes the annual media guides, and AGB Nielsen Hellas, which provides primary data on audience ratings as well internet metrics. The Alexa Web Information Company provides traffic metrics, site demographics and a list of top sites.
Media and Journalism studies
- Department of Communication & Mass Media, Athens Univesity
- Department of Informatics and Mass Media, Technical Institution of Patras
- Department of Public Relations and Communication, Technical Institution of Western Macedonia
- Department of Communication, Media & Culture, Panteion University, Athens
- Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
7.1 Development trends
The majority of Greek media outlets managed to survive the global economic crisis of 2008 and 2009. However, the media industry still has to deal with the consequences of the economic crisis in terms of sales, loss of profit, advertising expenditures, staff salaries and emerging costs.
The advent of satellite television was and still is a challenge for the future of Greek broadcasting , in particular in terms of marketshares, profit and reallocation of power among media players. Moreover, the discussion about the digitalisation of terrestrial television and the necessary technological modernisation raises questions about funding and the possible alliances that can be forged for this purpose.
The radical growth of new media services (broadband services, digital media, etc.) in conjunction with the national investments in new technology puts the media landscape in a consistent state of flux that requires rapid, direct decisions and initiatives from media companies.
The continuously changing environment created by new technologies requires reforms in regulatory field. There is an ongoing discussion about the role of the NCRTV as well as the EETT as bodies that supervise the media and telecommunications sector and, more specifically, the enhancement of their role as decisive rather than regulatory bodies.
Any development in this regard will likely call into question the power of media operators. It will influence content. Additionally, the need for an efficient accountability system to regulate ISPs and supervise Internet content is more than necessary, due to continuous violations.
Transparency in media concentration is also a pending issue. The revised “Law for the basic shareholder” (Law 3592/2007) has failed to eliminate concerns about transparency, pluralism and competitiveness in media landscape. Furthermore, in terms of media policy matters, expansion into the Balkans and eastern European market, is considered to be part of many investment plans at Greek media companies.
The authors wish to thank Georgios Terzis for his previous contributions on the Greek Media Landscape. Special thanks also to the authorities, institutions, organisations, companies and every single individual from the media industry for the data provided.
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- Eurostat, Greece’s Profile
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- Galanis D. (2008), «They freely circulate: the “press fever”, the advertising expenditure, the circulation and the perspectives of free press», To Vima, 13/4/2008
- General Secretariat of National Statistical Service of Greece, “Data from Statistical Base of demographic features of population after last census (2001)”
- Heretakis, E., European Media Landscape: The Greek Media Landscape, European Journalism Centre (available until March 2009)
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- Kalogirou S & Sourpi A. (2006), “Radio development and regulatory framework”, Communication Notebook, issue 6, Hellenic Audiovisual Institute.
- Kanellos, L. (2000), Internet law in Greece
- Kontochristou, M & Terzis, G., ‘The Greek Media Landscape’ in Terzis, G (ed.) European Media Governance (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2007).
- Laws and Codes see Esr.gr - Iom.gr - Minpress.gr and Europa.eu
- Media Salles (2008), “European Cinema Yearbook”
- Observatory for the greek information society, (2009), i2010 Indicators Measurement
- Observatory for the greek information society (2009), 8th Report on broadband services
- Observatory for the Greek information society (2008), Study on ICTs use in key sectors of Greek economy: Status & Perspectives
- OECD, Greece’s Profile
- Papachristoudi M. (2008), “Greek Diaspora Preferences in satellite tv”, in Eleftheros Typos, 19/11/2008
- Τhe European Institute for the Media (2004), Final Report of the study on : ‘The information of the citizen in the EU: Obligations for the media and the Institutions concerning the citizen’s right to by fully and objectively informed’, Dusseldorf: Paris, pp.90-92.
- To Vima (2008), “Cinema, the entertainment paradise”, 28/5/2008
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