Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press: Books

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press: Books

Article excerpt

The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press. By George Tzogopoulos. Ashgate, 222pp, Pounds 55.00 and Pounds 66.00. ISBN 9781409448716. and 474012 (e-book). Published 23 May 2013

In April 2010, in a televised address from the island of Kastellorizo, Greek premier George Papandreou announced that Greece was facing an unpre- cedented economic crisis and its budget deficit was spiralling out of control. His team, he admitted, had run out of ideas and was requesting bailout funds from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund. Although Papandreou's address was broadcast from one of the most remote Mediterranean outposts of the European Union, he was speaking of a crisis that had serious potential and actual repercussions in the major political and financial centres of the continent and around the world.

In fact, on that April afternoon the Greek leader was announcing stale news: back in October 2009, Papandreou's newly elected government had revised the national budget deficit estimate from 6.7 per cent of gross domestic product to 12.7 per cent, while the European Commission's Eurostat office was even more pessimistic. Nevertheless, the uttering of the name of the beast proved much more newsworthy than the assessments of the state of the Greek economy that had been made in previous months. Media interest spread like wildfire. Reports replete with florid references to "Greek drama", "tragedy", "chaos" and "catastrophe" were swiftly followed by sustained, often outraged coverage of the state of the nation's economy and political landscape. George Tzogopoulos' The Greek Crisis in the Media attempts to make sense of the sudden and intense media scrutiny to which the country was subjected between 2009 and 2012 and to assess the way the international media have treated the crisis.

Working as a research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy and charged with responding to media requests for commentators on politics, Tzogopoulos was uniquely well placed to observe the interaction between those managing the crisis and journalists from foreign media. This experience, he admits, presented a serious dilemma: on the one hand, he felt "the inner need" to support his country when it was "attacked if not vilified" by the international press, while on the other he saw an opportunity to tell "the truth" that had been systematically concealed by Greek politicians. …

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