[ Philhellenic Perspective
[ December 1996 ]

[ Choose to proceed ] In this issue:

Finding Greece: Internet News Sources

Coverage of news from Greece in the American media is non-existent most of the time, and brief the rest of the time. Further, when the American media does notice Greece it is usually filtered heavily through an American perspective, presented in terms solely of what the United States government wants, as if the whole nation of Greece had no reason to exist but to supply stories in relation the United States. What I want is news about Greece, not about the U.S. in relation to Greece.

In this issue I had planned to present a review of English language news sources for Greece. Indeed this was one of the first articles I had planned for the journal when I started it. However, two key sources of news about Greece have recently disappeared or reduced their services, and I have not found out why or what their prospects are for return. Slightly diminished, here is a list of sources of info.

Of course, I cannot claim this is complete. But I have used some internet search engines, and looked at the 'news sources' page in a number of leading Greek web sites, and here is what I've found. For each site, I will talk about their web site, what they post to the newsgroup soc.culture.greek, and what is available by subscription.

Cosmos (vanished)

Who: Greek American Education & Public Information System (GAEPIS), a not-for profit media organization.
Web: http://www.gaepis.org/
Posted to newsgroup soc.culture.greek: daily news summaries with the word "COSMOS" in the subject heading
Subscribe: send subscribe COSMOS-NEWS to majordomo@shore.net
Content: What they used to provide was a daily news summary.

This news summary, like most reported below, was fairly heavily oriented towards repeating statements of party leaders and government officials. Both the news summary, and the web site seem to be unavailable and I have no idea what is going on. Too bad.

Athens News Agency (partially vanished)

Who: Appears to be a quasi-government agency (3 of its 7 directors appointed by the government) with some independent press involvement
Web: http://forthnet.gr/ape/ mirrored at http://www.hri.org/news/greek/ana/
Posted to newsgroup: soc.culture.greek with subject titles like: "Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 96/11/25"
Subscribe: send e-mail with contents of "subscribe ana-dist" to majordomo@hri.org
Content: Both a "Daily News Bulletin" and a daily "News in English"

The forthnet site as just the latest edition, the HRI site has an archive. This is again, a daily bulletin with much the same info as in Cosmos or in MPA (below). More government ministers howling at each other. If it is government controlled, give them credit for quoting, sometimes extensively, the various opposition party leaders. By and large its government news - you can learn about what is going on via government reaction but that is indirect at best. It did have one of the larger daily bulletins. The subscriptions and postings to soc.culture.greek are apparently suspended or terminated. Can get full info at the web site.

Athens News Electronic Edition

Who: The Athens News is an English language newspaper published in Athens, this is their Electronic edition
Web: http://dolenet.gr/athnews/athn ews.htm/
Content: This is more like a newspaper. At the dolenet site is a hierarchy of pages devoted to news, sports, education, editorials, even letters to the editor. They do a review of the other press, showing what the local papers are leading off their editions. Here one can get more analytical and background info than with the daily news sources. They keep the same web pages and change the content daily so you can get your browser to download them automatically. Totally free. No annoying registration. Recommended.

Antenna Radio News

Who: not a clue, apparently transcribed from radio broadcasts
Web: http://dolenet.gr/athnews/athn ews.htm/
mirrored at http://www.hri.org/news/greek/a nt1en/
Nothing posted to soc.culture.greek
No idea on subscription info.
Content: This is a rather brief daily news briefing. Typically it has three topics each day. Rather than being formed around press releases, it is in the form of a the short news stories that would be read over the radio. Here we do, finally, get something that sounds like real news. For example, not only do you get the quotes on the farmers crisis, but some reporting of the severity of the crunch around the country. The only problem with this is that it is so short.

Cyprus News Agency

Who: Independent corporation, growing out of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
Web: http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/
Posted to newsgroup: soc.culture.greek with subject titles like: "Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-11-25"
Content: Daily bulletin and web archive of same.Similar to the Greek bulletins, but focusing on Cyprus. Again, too prone to think that "foreign minister congratulates Madeleine Albright" constitutes news, but helpful given the total drought of news on Cyprus.

Cyrpus Press Information Office

Who: Government department of Cyprus
Web: http://www.pio.gov.cy/
Posted to newsgroup soc.culture.greek with subject titles like: "Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-12-05"
Content: Daily bulletin
Again, centers on government actions and statements, but at least that is their job.

Macedonian Press Agency (MPA)

Web: http://www.mpa.gr/
mirrored at http://www.hri.org/mpa/
Posted to newsgroup soc.culture.greek with subject titles like: "Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 96-11-25"
Content: daily bulletin of 10-14 items of domestic news and 6-10 items of international news focusing on Greece

Another daily bulletin, now the leading source in soc.culture.greek in the absence of ANA and Cosmos. This - like all the rest - is too oriented to quoting government ministers, but also adds to that with occasional analysis pieces that quote other people.

The Weather

I suppose the weather is news as well, and on the rec.travel.europe group people are always asking about the weather in Greece in January or something, so check out: http://www.ntua.gr/weather/
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Selected Turkish Sources

I haven't done any systematic survey of Turkish sources, but I would suggest adding one to your reading list for two reasons. First their coverage of Greek-Turkish squabbling is a useful check on Greek hyper-nationalism, and secondly, they cover the maneuverings with oil in connection to Iran and the Caucasus, issues ignored in the Greek press despite the possible impact on shipping in the Aegean and continental shelf issues. Unfortunately, the Turkish sources cited here seem to be much more government run, and are sometimes nothing more than simple propaganda.

TRKNWS-L "Turkish Radio Hour"

Who: Don't know - this feed seems to come via something called the "Turkish Radio Hour"
Subscribe: to trh@aimnet.com message: subscribe TurkC-L [e-mail] [actual name]
Content: This is a near daily publication (its schedule has always been mysterious to me) that offers a number of news briefs on politics, economics and sports.

"Turkish Press Digest"

Who: From Turkish ministry of Foreign Affairs
Web: archive at http://www.hri.org/news/turkey/trkpr/
Subscribe: send e-mail with content "subscribe trkpr -digest" to majordomo@hri.org

These two overlap extensively and - even more than the Greek sources - simply represent government press releases. Economic items are often just announcements of big development projects and admiring quotes from visiting business types on how wonderful Turkey is for business. Still, by reading between the lines you can get useful information, especially of economic developments.

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And Now, for Something Completely Different

U. S. State department daily briefing

Who: the U. S. state department daily press briefing, transcribed.
Subscribe: send e-mail with content "subscribe std -digest" to majordomo@hri.org

This is not for the faint of heart, but is an interesting example of how many different ways there are to say 'no comment.' The only reason for a philhellene to see this is for the daily question about the Aegean islands. Some fellow named Mr. Lambros daily tries to get the U. S. State Department to say something else on the Aegean islands other than "we hope Turkey and Greece will work out their differences." True, occasionally he gets a ruling that Gravdos or some other island is Greek, but in months of harassment, the State Department spoksperson has never slipped up and admitted that Imia is Greek. I assume most reporters regard Lambros as a pest, and he seems resolutely cluless to how one might actually get information from the State Department, but give him marks for persistence.

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Summary Lament

The various daily briefings do overlap considerably. Most are not 'news' as we would recognize from a daily paper or weekly newsmagazine in the United States. Not only is the level of analysis weak, but 'feature' stories that give you the feel of daily life and what Greeks are thinking about is just missing except for a tidbit or two in the Athens News Electronic Edition. Even on political stories, you aren't going to hear anything off the record, or from backbenchers to say nothing of political analysts or business people.

My recommendation? Subscribe to one of the biggies (COSMOS, if it ever comes back; MPA or ANA), add a Cyprus source and a Turkish one. Definitely look at the Electronic Edition of the Athens News and Antenna news. That and read a few books, cause this isn't going to do it. I shouldn't be totally negative, what you can find out now is much more news than was available 5 years ago, but it doesn't represent real news.
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Coming Up Next Time

This will do for the December and January issues. I'll take a break for Christmas and be back on February 1st with more. See you then.

Philhellenic Perspective

is published once a month to the newsgroups soc.culture.greece and rec.travel.europe as well as appearing on the web. It is published by John P. Nordin who is solely responsible for its contents. You may reproduce this material, in whole or in part provided you provide proper acknowledgement of the source, and you don't distort the content. [ Top of the Page ]

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