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Common Dreams

Alternative Media Outlets Launch Counter-Attack on Greek Austerity

'We don’t want listeners, we want citizens'

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Filling a void left by the austerity-driven closure of Greece's public news broadcaster earlier this year, a new generation of young, independent and critical media outlets are popping up around the country, providing a strong voice in opposition to "the country’s dominant power structures," according to an exposé in Wednesday's New York Times.

"Although their audiences are still relatively modest, they are playing an increasingly vital role in the conversation," read the New York Times article, describing alternative outlets such as the left-leaning Radio Bubble, an independent radio station/public meeting house, and new investigative journalism publications such as 'Unfollow' and 'The Press Project' which have been critical of the austerity policies of President Antonis Samaras and his ruling coalition government.

From the Times:

Even before the economic crisis hit, polls showed that Greeks lacked trust in the mainstream news media almost as much as they lacked it in politicians, seeing both as intertwined in a kind of crony capitalism that helped push the country to bankruptcy.

Now, four years into the crisis, Greeks are even more skeptical of mainstream news organizations and even hungrier for information from nontraditional sources, especially if it veers from the government’s line that Greece has no alternative to the austerity policies demanded by its foreign lenders.

As the profile of this new media landscape shows, one of the silver linings of the painful economic realities of life under austerity has been the degree to which positive forces and alternative models have stepped into the gap created by public cuts and a depressed economy. For some in Greece, these emerging alternatives represent the best source of hope that a nation battered by financial elites is on the path to reclaiming its democracy.

As Apostolis Kaparoudakis, founder of Radio Bubble, declared: “We don’t want listeners, we want citizens."

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