Many years ago, in 1922, Walter Lippmann said that “the news does not tell you how the seed is germinating in the ground… it may tell you when the first sprout breaks through the surface. It may even tell you what somebody says is happening to the seed under ground…”
Almost a century later, this argument continues to be an accurate definition of news.
In Greece, newspapers, news media in general are seen principally as platforms for the expression of political opinion.
Newspapers are partisan and the notion of neutral, informational reporting is not appreciated by many journalists and readers.
This is a consequence of the history of the Greek press, that closely follows the history of the nation itself.
Understanding media requires a travel in time, through Greek history.
Fortunately, I will skip that and resort to a last, concluding phrase…
For many years, established media in Greece have been in close relationship with politics, some times neglecting their role as watchdogs of public interest.
Tight relations brought friendly media closer to state–controlled benefits.
State advertising and different sorts of financial conveniences kept this relationship strong.
Media business in Greece grew under a protected environment like many other professions in the country.
Therefore, it lacks the intellectual background to protect its very existence.
When the crisis arrived, it triggered the deconstruction of the media system.
However, before running out of cash, Greek media had already run out of credibility.
What used to rule the media field, and nowadays seems to rule all public discussions has been political noise, rather than real political arguments.
This is reproduced by the media, either due to their dependence to vested interests, or because this is what hypothetically can be marketed, for commercial purposes.
It is argued that if citizens were aware of journalists-politicians relationships, they wouldn’t like it at all…
This is true, by the way, since Greek citizens rank media at the bottom of the credibility list, as regards institutions in the country.
Sources rule the local media field, creating more noise than the system can hold and citizens can, or are willing to follow.
The result is real issues to be marginalized, tough decisions to be neglected.
Tough decisions usually concern change.
This crisis is about change. Or, speaking in media terms, it is about refusing to change.
Greeks need to put their competitive advantages in order.
Media should help them do that. Facilitate change… Do something about it. Frame national debate in a fruitful way.
Much of this change is about the new digital economy.
Nowadays, the whole world is spinning in a digital mode. The way citizens work, live and communicate is going through profound changes.
Media need to follow quickly. The main criterion should be how to match their mere existence with the real needs of society.
The idea behind chaosNavigator.net is to do just that.
To deal with the essence of things.
It is about the seed that germinates in the ground.
Through analyses, reviews, opinions, arguments, recommendations and suggestions.
It is also an open platform for debate. Visitors can post their comments and register to write themselves.
If you will, chaosNavigator is about Meta-journalism. Beyond the limitations and distortions of traditional media and the immaturity of the first generation of Greek content ventures.
It produces a synthesis of precise and carefully processed pieces of information and analysis, that are factual-based and partisan free.
It respects citizens’ views, inviting visitors to comment or write about issues.
On the other hand, it safeguards the process, for this participation to make sense and produce results.
Moderators also select content from many different websites, that forward the debate even further.
The internet is a new force that liberates information and knowledge;
On the other hand, it puts rights and responsibilities under a new perspective.
The new digital age brings along a new way of thinking; a new way of economizing; a new way of communicating; a new way of living.
This is change, in a era of change, in times of crisis.
Navigating through this chaotic crisis is the beginning of change…
Talking points at chaosNavigator.net presentation event, 22. June 2011