How I learned to start reading every George, Nick’s and Harry’s blog and stopped worrying about the closure of newspapers
The first time I saw any posts from the bloggingportal, was not online but in print. Suprisingly and by no movements of my own either. The then Editor of New Europe Newspaper Alexandros Coronakis had decided that what we needed was a page for blogs focusing on Europe in the newspaper.
I agreed, and would proofread them meticulously for want of any askew posts by extreme anti European supposed ‘Think Tanks’, to the bloggingportal’s usual, great quality, highly researched pieces by those working in the fields we were covering.
Since 2008 I have been overly worried about the demise of the media profession. I was in the newspaper business and it was difficult, times were tough and it was obvious to everyone.
Even in ‘the land that capitalism forgot’ as @antigonakee so colorfully puts her finger on it, our competition had almost halved its staff, and our online competition had taken a very long summer break in 2009, the others too in Brussels showing signs of strain by giving into other funding streams and business models, things were unsettled and the news was only becoming more technical and upsetting, for Europe, for Greece for everyone.
Social media and incorporating blogs were a necessity to push through the myre and see the facts.
I remember we at New Europe even tried blogs ourselves, for the columnists, at an initial re-fresh of the site in 2009, that didn’t last long for me, some others like Andy Carling used it greatly.
As I’m reminded often by Mathew Lowry – Euractiv’s blogactiv.eu has increased in scope greatly since he was there for the launch.
The traditional media’s (FT, The Economist and The Guardian’s fantastic live feeds as major events happen) blogs also seem to now be benefitting from this four year old shift in new media.
The demise and restructuring towards the digital of print media and shifts in funding I am sure are not news to you any longer, this has been a much publicised downsizing that only leads to few avenues for those that still need to tell the stories/truth out there.
My focus was to bring forth what I could from the Greek bloggosphere, since 2010 when I became an editor, as I understood that language and could. I havent’ been as proficient in that as I would have liked, in part as it invariably became daunting.
I believe the Greek media has suffered so greatly that so many articulate and easily expressive citizens, writers, out of work journalists have found recourse in Blogs. I am convinced I have probably clicked on only five percent of what is online from Greece and am constantly overwhelmed by the calibre of the blogs posted for example on my twitter feed or Facebook wall on a daily basis.
Some like Troktiko.gr have become legendary as the blogger/journo who started it was shot and killed in 2010 causing a mass outcry (the reasons are not solely the blog, they remain mirky).
Others like Pitsirikos.gr or Nikos blog just as well received, but thousands more sprouted and continue to daily, till now.
The power of the blogger in Greece has grown fiercly as the newspapers increasingly became biased, as well as the media channels, leaving the public to wonder about where objectivity was to come from. The ‘truth’ had become a dream of the past as all felt distrust towards the status quo, not only of the media but the powers that be, that had in loose terms, squandered their money or let their society arrive at such huge indebtedness.
Greece has caught up with the online European political sphere, especially since 2008 with an amazing outpouring of emotion in response to all of the above. Suffering a public flogging over the economical strength of the country has affected every part of society, and those with internet access and the willingness to write have been prolific; there are many of those.
Just before Christmas I was asked my an Athenian Journalist Dimitris Perakis to join their network and new media portal whose purpose is to bring fact based news to the fore, in a not-for-profit paradigm. I was swayed, said yes but have to organise the details this year, for Greece it really is a brand new model, staying outside of Trade Unions’ or large Media blocks and keeping the news independent.
Bloggingportal should see more Greek blogs in 2012, I feel they will be even more powerful in this fourth year of the economic crisis and the bailouts hang in the balance.
They are not only informative and factual but have now become necessary.
Happy Third Birthday Blogginportal.eu as the Greeks say, ‘may you live to be 1000′!