BROADCASTING AND POLITICS IN GREECE, 1936-1987
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The purpose of this thesis is to analyse and explain the organization of Greek broadcasting, and particularly its relationship to the state and politics. The study begins with the introduction of state-owned radio in 1936 and ends with the abolition of the state monopoly and the introduction of private local radio by a Socialist government in 1987. Through a mainly chronological structure the study examines the development of Greek radio and television set against major developments in the sphere of politics from the inter-war period until the late 1980s. These developments include the establishment of a quasi-fascist dictatorship in 1936, the Right-Left cleavage of the 1940s and the nature of parliamentary regime which was established as a result of the Communist defeat in the civil war (1946-1949). Subsequently, the study deals with the imposition of the dictatorial regime in 1967 and examines the contradictions which led to its eventual downfall in 1974. Finally, the thesis covers the transition of the country to democracy, the nature of the democratic regime, the party system and the major aspects of policy of both the Conservative governments (1974-1981) and the Socialists (1981-1987). Placed within the framework of the debate about the role of broadcasting in liberal democracies, the thesis examines the applicability of two antithetical models, the 'fourth estate' and the 'dominance' models to the Greek broadcasting system from 1936 to 1987. Neither is found to be satisfactory. Our study of government-broadcasting relations since the introduction of radio demonstrates that the broadcast media have always been subordinate to partisan political control and that neither the editorial autonomy nor the political independence of Greek broadcasters, on which the 'fourth estate' model is based, have ever been safeguarded by Greek politicians. The 'dominance' model, on the other hand, to the extent that it considers the mass media as an instrument of the dominant classes fails to describe accurately the role of Greek broadcasting institutions and of the state which controls them within Greek society. Due to the uneven and belated industrial development of the country, the state has acquired a dominant position in social and economic life by distributing resources and safeguarding the vital Interests of various social groups. Political parties have always relied on the mechanisms of the state to consolidate their power. Broadcasting institutions have therefore been used by those holding executive power as a legitimating mechanism of their policies. Preoccupied as they were with the political output of radio and television, Greek politicians never pursued the development of a public service ethos In Greek broadcasting.
- Theses