Greek minister Nikos Pappas speaks at LSE on ““Fake News, Propaganda and Media in Greece”,

Academia, Events, Conferences,Forums and Symposiums, Press and Media — By on February 28, 2018 at 4:41 PM

Nikos Pappas delivering his speech; to his left seated Prof. Kevin Featherstone

GREECE’S MINISTER OF DIGITAL POLICY, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA, NIKOS PAPPAS, SPEAKS AT THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
• N.Pappas: «New media are not the only ones responsible for fake news. Fake news diffusion often starts from traditional media. This is the case of a TV channel that chose to present the development of Greece’s economy by reversing the time axis in order to give the impression of recession.”

Yesterday Greece’s Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Nikos Pappas, participated, as central speaker, at a public lecture that was organized by the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics, entitled “Fake News, Propaganda and Media in Greece”, and coordinated by Professor Kevin Featherstone.

Below are central points of Nikos Pappas’s speech:
• “Where do we find ourselves today? Media are infinite. The advertising industry does not opt for large, but smaller, targeted campaigns. Moreover, politicians do not need journalists anymore to convey their positions to the public, as they can use Twitter or Facebook. These major differences to the past would be enough to overcome the Chomsky-Herman theory. We could be living in a more democratic, post-modern world with pluralism in news. To a certain degree this is true or could be true.”
• “Nowadays everybody can say anything and reach everyone. Unfortunately, this does not always involve innovative and productive ideas.”
• “The model was reversed the moment we believed that information could be provided without cost, that we can have access to news without cost. We thought that we did not need journalists as mediators anymore, as we can go directly to the source. However, by expelling journalists, evaluation, classification, validation, cross-checking and to, a certain degree, accountability have also been lost.
• “When SYRIZA was elected in second place in Greece in 2012, a systematic campaign of misinformation was launched by the opposition political forces and the media in the country. This campaign was developing parallel to the public’s discontent against the government at the time. What Chomsky called “national consent” had brought on an “interconnected” political, economic and media system in Greece and this system was ready to fight, by all means possible, in order to stay in power. This approach exceeded national boundaries and turned into a campaign for the demolition of SYRIZA by all European media.”
• “New media are not the only ones responsible for fake news. Fake news diffusion often starts from traditional media. This is the case of a TV channel that chose to present the development of Greece’s economy by reversing the time axis in order to give the impression of recession.”
• “The problem will persist regardless of how many algorithms are invented, of how many journalists constantly crosscheck news. Children in the developed world spend more time using new media. Many children combine new and traditional media, by using the laptop, the tablet, the smartphone and by watching TV at the same time. However, when they grow up they should become informed citizens and contribute to the enhancement, not the degradation of democracy.”
• “In Greece private TV stations had no license until now and their owners also owned the network operator. We are now very close to the conclusion of the licensing procedure by the independent authority.”
• “We have introduced an Online Media Registry, where 582 companies and 1000 news sited have been registered. Only members of the Registry have access to public advertising. Surely, the government cannot “police” the media, but we offer this tool to the media community, so that it can regulate itself, in order to deal with fake news and remove those who spread fake news from the Registry.”
• “We will soon introduce the barcode system in print media, in order to achieve transparency in the circulation of newspapers and magazines as well as meritocracy in the distribution of advertising. At the moment the announced circulations are just estimates by the newspaper distribution agencies, which are controlled by competitors of most print media editors”.

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