Editorial: The ESR and media games
It took an extreme political clash, a chain of institutional aberrations and unconstitutional…
It took an extreme political clash, a chain of institutional aberrations and unconstitutional machinations to finally reach an agreement to form a National Council for Radio and Television (ESR).
From the infamous Florence report on 4 licenses, to the attempts of Nikos Pappas to shut down the existing channels and the Prime Minister’s celebrations on “locking up” the businessmen for the joke of a tender, we have come to the government’s latest disorderly retreat.
The obvious goal of the government to control the media with a profound – for a democratic state – approach failed due to the constant delays and the Council of State’s resolve. The government and the arrogant minister were defeated, but their intentions persist. Their retreat was a result of the universal reactions and public outcry caused by their attacks against Justice.
The consensus reached to form the ESR is an important step to put an end to a lingering situation that poisoned the political system and media. The establishment of a state of law and transparency without political interventions and partisanship is the next major goal.
The new ESR members have a major responsibility and duty to legislate mutually-accepted democratic rules so that the political system and society cease to constantly dispute the state of the media.
It is not a simple or easy task since for the past two decades the prevailing impression is that the media is corrupt, which undermines any efforts for clear and effective solutions. It is time however to cut this Gordian knot and create a pluralistic, transparent and independent television landscape.
The first step of the parties agreeing will hopefully not be the last. The second and more meaningful step will be the new ESR proving that it can live up the expectations.