May 13, 2011
The irrefutable power of blogs to keep the Greek public informed was confirmed recently during the country’s nationwide four day media strike. With all outlets from newspapers and magazines to radio, television and news websites participating in the strike, the country was left in a total media and news blackout. Seeking to take advantage of the clear gap in information provision to the Greek people, the government sought to exploit the situation by attempting to pass a number of bills that would otherwise have gone through different political channels to be passed and which may have resulted in greater political cost to the government. Furthermore these bills would have certainly generated significant discussion in the media and among the general public had the country’s media been in operation. In protest against the media blackout and the government’s attempts to take advantage of the situation, Greek MPs rejected the passing of these bills, with the dialogue between the MPs played out on the nation’s blogs. Members of Parliament claimed that the country would plunge into great social and political unrest if the media strike was not brought to an end. However while the country’s media remained steadfast, the power of blogs was cast into light, being the only source of information and regular news updates. For the Greek market – in its current state of turmoil and where strikes are rife – blogs have emerged as an important communication tool and a way out from the political and economic chaos that has threatened to leave the Greek population uninformed about the very events and issues that affect their daily lives.