Al Jazeera English, the English version of the Arabic-language news network, has recently aired an interesting story on how the financial crisis in Greece has affected the Greek media industry.
The media sector was one of the first victims of the Greek financial crisis, which has led to the closure of several newspapers and magazines, numerous redundancies and severe pay cuts in many news organizations.
"After two years of continued austerity, unemployment in the media sector is at 25 per cent and the new bill is the killing blow," Dimitris Trimis, president of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), told AFP in Oct. 2011.
The employees of Eleftherotypia, Greece’s second biggest daily paper in circulation, have been on strike since December 22, as their employer stopped paying them in August 2011.
Dimitris Trimis, who worked for Eleftherotypia, is the first president of the union’s history to be out of work.
The German Press Agency (Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH) reported in March 2012 that, since the beginning of the crisis in 2010, 30 per cent of the Greek journalists have lost their jobs.
Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) says it has seen 4,000 layoffs and remaining staff are under constant pressure to renegotiate labor contracts with pay cuts of up to 30 percent, AFP reported in February 2012.
“Media groups are poorly funded, artificially supported and in danger of collapsing or even disappearing [...]. More than a quarter of Greek journalists are “officially” unemployed but the number is hard to discover because of the loosely-defined profession. [...]. Salaries are low and have recently been cut by about 15%”, according to the investigation report “Greece: Is the Crisis in Greece a Chance for its Media?”, which was released in September 2011 by the international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders.
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