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12° Nicosia,
17 January, 2019
 
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Reliable journalism and the influence that comes with it

It’s easy to go with the flow

Athanasios Ellis

Athanasios Ellis

It’s easy to go with the flow. What’s hard is to swim against the current, especially when it comes to the Greek media landscape, which is rife with shortcomings and peculiarities.

In most outlets, it appears to be difficult to say and write what you believe, to applaud what – in your opinion – is correct and to criticize what you consider to be wrong, on both sides of the political divide. Truth, integrity and sincerity are not the exclusive privilege of one politician, or one party, you see. Obviously, the members of every political party believe that they are the only ones with the right answers, on everything.

But the role of the journalist is different. He or she seeks the truth and tries to paint the whole picture – which is usually more complicated that politicians wants us to believe – to present it with as much objectivity as possible. Then it is up to the reader to judge and make up his or her mind.

These observations come on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of Kathimerini newspaper, celebrated in 2019. The greatest advantage of this historic newspaper remains its credibility, which was built over a century, in a tumultuous period when reliable information was a central pillar of the country’s free, democratic development.

Today, Kathimerini, which is published in two countries (Greece and Cyprus) and has a daily English edition published inside the International New York Times, prides itself for being the most credible source of information for the international community, read by politicians, diplomats, transnational organizations, investors, brokers, analysts and opinion-makers, with respect to developments affecting Greece.

It is a fact that comes with responsibility. Kathimerini’s correspondent in Brussels, Eleni Varvitsiotis, as well as her predecessor and current Bloomberg bureau chief in the same city, Nikos Chrysoloras, have found that the newspaper was and remains the main source of reading for European officials who are interested in Greek affairs. I have also come to the same conclusion as a long-time correspondent in Washington.

This paper’s influence stems from credibility built over time and a sense of consistency, reliability and fairness. Even in cases where the commentary published in the paper has a strongly subjective character, it avoids populist rhetoric, it is based on facts and rational arguments, and respects the opposite opinion. And this is something that is being recognized by most.

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