Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Greece: Greek journalists to hold rally marking one-year closure of public broadcaster

IFEX

10 June 2014
International Federation of Journalists

On 11 June 2014, it will be one year since the Greek government has stunned the nation and the journalism community by shutting down the public broadcaster. On the eve of the anniversary, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed the protests to be held by Greek journalists to mark the day, and reminded the government that it has failed to fulfil its promise to restore an independent public broadcaster for the Greek public.

“One year on, we have seen no efforts from the government to restore an independent public broadcaster to serve the public interest,” says Mogens Blicher Bjerreg√•rd, EFJ President. “Yet, we have witnessed ERT journalists who are doing their utmost to uphold the country's democratic values by continuing broadcasting information to Greek citizens.”

Tomorrow, journalists across Greece will hold a four-hour work stoppage across all media from 12 am to 4 pm led by the EFJ affiliates, POESY, JUADN, ESIEMTH and ESPIT. A series of public protests will also be held across the country. At noon, journalists will march from the JUADN headquarters in Athens to the Ministry of Finance. A rally will gather outside the ERT headquarters in Aghia Paraskevi at 7 pm. 


The ESIEMTH will hold a protest at noon and join ERT journalists, who are occupying the ERT3 building in Thessaloniki, to broadcast via live stream marking the anniversary from 5 pm to 8 pm. Athens will follow by broadcasting live the massive rally that is planned outside the Pubic Broadcaster's building.

On 4 May, the Greek government officially launched the New Greek Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT) that was designed to replace ERT whose 2700 employees were sacked one year ago due to the closure.

The new public broadcaster, which is staffed by 132 journalists nationwide, has been criticised for its lack of transparency in the hiring procedures and the Athens-focus media agenda that failed to service the general Greek public.

The EFJ and its affiliates have sent solidarity messages (see below) to ERT journalists supporting their struggle to re-open ERT. You can send your solidarity message or videos to ertnea@gmail.com, ertopen.ebu@gmail.com & ertopen@gmail.com.

All demonstrations and events will be available online at www.ertopen.com.