Advertising And Media The evolution of the mass media is very interesting subject of study that presents variations according to different circumstances. One of these is the place where this evolution takes place. Because media as institutions are part of society, are influenced from any particular characteristic that each society has. In the case of Greece, it’s really interesting to see how the evolution of a medium like radio, has been affected by the particular characteristics of Greek society and more specifically by Greek politics. The particularity of the Greek case, as Papathanassopoulos points up, is that the Greek state is hyper centralized because of the dictatorial periods that Greece has passed through.
Greek broadcasting has been developed under dictatorships. Both radio and television were subject of military violation, thus formulating a peculiar character a State broadcasting. What I will attempt to show in this project is that this peculiar character of state broadcasting influenced the overall evolution of radio, which lead it to be a medium with different types of programming formats. Through the unplanned liberalization of the medium from the public monopoly medium we lead to privately owned format radio. I will attempt to show, describe and analyze this evolution; how from a situation of public broadcasting has developed towards a commercial medium with different types of programming.
The interesting thing for the case of Greece is that is showing us how politics in the long run influence particular characteristics of a medium such as its programming. It is really interesting to see how most of the social sectors of the society are in favor of the decentralization of the media. This proves the reason why the liberalization of the Greek radio was so favored from the Greek society and actually happened so fast in a very short time. Because the Greek society is so hyper centralized, when people realized that radio was to be decentralized, radio became very popular. As Ed Hollander explains; decentralization of the media is always welcomed by the majority of the people because many of their interests can be satisfied.
For cultural and social organizations, decentralization is a method to promote citizen participation in the mass media. For media personnel is a means of achieving more democratic control of the media. For the political parties, decentralization is a way to gain an instrument to oppose government policy. Finally, decentralization is a way for those in favor of commercial broadcasting to achieve profit. That is, as I will try to show, what happened with the case of the Greek radio. All the people who were in favor of decentralized radio broadcasting show the liberalization of the medium as a chance to satisfy their interests and in that way the conflict of different interests during the evolution of radio influence the overall process of the medium up to its specialization.
Keeping in mind that in the last 50 years the only legal broadcast enterprises belonged to (or were controlled directly by) the state of Greece, I will attempt to refer to milestone events which affected the developments so far and which will most certainly determine developments in the years to come. I will attempt to present the circumstances that took place, in order for radio to become private. I will show how Radio changed from a medium of general interest (belonging to the public sector) to a privately owned medium with specific formats of programming and I will draw some conclusions. Although somebody could argue that this is most a descriptive study, the separate reference to aspects of this evolution that are made give us the possibility to understand deeper the relation between the cause and the final conclusion that prove my hypothesis; that the Greek politics was in the long run the cause for Greek radio to become a medium with different formats. The sources I use, although they cover many areas of radio broadcasting, justify the importance of specific parts of the evolution of the Greek radio that I refer to.
The reference to other countries help us see from a more critical aspect the evolution of the Greek radio. 2. The transition from public to private radio The article 15 of the Greek constitution and the law 230 of 1975 are an example of the direct control that the state of Greece had upon radio and television; there was a state monopoly. This state monopoly was also justified by the terms of the limited radio spectrum and the centralized character of the state (Papathanassopoulos 1989). Another term of justification was that the Greek market would not be able to support private and state media. The article 15 was very ambivalent, leaving room for arbitrary interpretation by each government, as it talked of State direct control over Radio and Television which -depending on the occasion- could be translated either in State’s exclusive right to broadcast, or State’s obligation to regulate Broadcasting.
As P. Daltoglou points up, the state by using the term “direct state control” can define whether or not, and under what circumstances, private concerns could be allowed to be broadcast. Compared to the old legislation, the New Law (1730 of 1987) was just a repetition of the permanent and obsolete articles which governed Radio and TV up to that date, concerning administrative organization. The new law also introduced some interesting regulations which could secure the functioning of the public broadcast media in order to operate independently of the government and secure the objectivity of their programs. The final and more interesting point of this law introduced some innovations in the area of local radio and satellite TV. The law guarantees legal entity to the pirate radio stations and promotes their development.
Before that law only the local authorities were acknowledged with the right of operation local radio stations through a decision of the Ministry of Presidency and Communications. At the beginning this privilege was given without any authorization from the Constitution but afterwards was confirmed by the article 213 of the New Law. With this law there is the possibility of the foundation of local municipal radio stations. But even if the operation of the municipal stations was legally secured, the establishment of the private local radio didn’t yet have any legislative coverage. As E. Venizelos notes, the most amateur illegal (until then) efforts expressed pure hobbyist interests without any obvious political stands. In that way the legislator had to consider the current tendencies of radio broadcasting and legislate accordingly. The New Law presents entailed standardization of the local radio.
The monopoly of the public media can be broken within certain limits that the legislation defines and in accordance with the Constitution, provided that the legal and technical standards will be kept based on the new law. “Local radio” refers to the whole of the local radio stations which are established and operate aligned with the license of the Minister of Presidency of the Government. All the stations broadcast from 87,5 to 107,7 MHz in FM band. The basic principle of “Locality” in the Local Radio Station, states that it is its local character which determines the content of its program. In France for example, the local radio holds its identity as it is related strongly to the local community.
The constant and systematic striving for true local communication, the integration of radio as a tool in the area serviced and the adaptation of the program to local life in all its aspects represent the main dimensions of the character of the Local Radio (Hamelin 1989). Another principle of the “Locality” of a radio station is also the local transmission (limited coverage). Every station has its own geographic range of transmission and its own specific district. According to the law there is not a specific number of frequencies available for every district. According to the article 24 of the new law the licenses are given after a proposal of a newly formed “Commission of Local Radio” to Greek citizens. However no more than one license is granted to the same person.
According to the constitution there are two types of licenses, the first one is only for professional (profit seeking enterprise) use and the second one is amateur (non-profit). The stations which have the second type of licenses can transmit only recreational and educational programs and not advertisements. Bibliography 15. Rao, G. (1991). Italy: In the throes of change.
Intermedia. London: International Institute of Communications. March/April 1991. Volume 19. No. 2.
The reasons that lead to the broadcasting Act of 1990 in Italy. The political background that create this reform in the Italian media affairs. The effects of this broadcasting Act on the current (1991) situation of broadcasting in Italy and particularly the effects that had on RAI.