The print press and other media over the last many years have been in a perpetual crisis.
The decade-long economic crisis shook their once strong position. Rapid technological changes and the swift presentation of information on flexible webpages dramatically transformed the terrain.
The social media restructured the media map.
A host of political shifts and the emergence of a number of populist parties and authoritarian leaderships all over the world create bastions that dispute media credibility, especially that of traditional news outlets that are considered systemic.
Newspapers with a lengthy history were severely tested and many shut down overnight.
Television stations’ income plunged as did their prestige. Jobs were lost and media professionals were left in dire straits.
At the same time traditional news groups adjusted to the demands of the times, including technologically. They restructured financially and some were sold off. In the end they managed to maintain their credibility and to rebuild trust with the public by demonstrating that they remained true to their old values of trustworthy and independent journalism.
Right now internationally the once floundering traditional titles are flourishing gain, are financially strong, and are playing a leading role in providing information. They are playing a role befitting their history.
The long crisis and restructuring revealed the sole recipe for success. The media in order to survive in a new, demanding world must be financially and organisationally viable. Only financial autonomy can guarantee their independence from politics and special interests.
Our media group is comprised of both traditional and new media that were tested over the past years, endured the challenge of restructuring and can now stand on their feet in difficult conditions even as they jealously guard their independence.
The owner of our media outlets, Vangelis Marinakis, confirmed all of the above when last week he returned state advertising money paid for the “We Stay Home” pandemic measures information campaign. He urged authorities to earmark the money for the families of unemployed journalists.
That was a clear-cut choice with no strings attached that was unconnected to the monetary value of the public service messages. It simply demonstrated values and principles and is a response to the groundless charges that we were favoured in the distribution of the advertising pie distributed by minister and government spokesman Stelios Petsas.
These allegations were absolutely false and slanderous and were disseminated to promote ulterior motives.
The news outlets of our media group – newspapers, sites, and television – with reporting, analyses, news shows, and commentary display an objective approach to information and a dedication to pluralism and they demonstrate their autonomy and independence on a daily basis.
The news outlets of our media group are motivated only by a quest for the truth and follow no one’s political line. They do not reconcile themselves to communications and propagandistic ploys. They present all views without exclusions and animosity even toward those who battle us openly.
Therefore, let all who either support or oppose the government know that our principles, values, and the rules of objective, independent journalism are non-negotiable.
That is why we stood up to the previous government’s efforts to manipulate the media and we fended off the aggressive designs of those who wanted to control our newspapers and place our television networks at their service. That is why we want no dependence on the state and its funding.
It is our conviction that contemporary media in order to survive in demanding and competitive conditions must maintain distinct views and serve certain concepts but above all be financially viable and politically independent.
That is our signal and message and these are our values with which we have served our readers diachronically. We pledge to do everything necessary to honour their trust.
Our power derives from our readers who judge us. We are responsible to them and only to them.