In the historic newspaper Greek Chronicles (date of establishment: 1824), Jacob Mayer writes: “Publication is the soul of justice”. This statement applies only when a publication is true, objective and not serving various interests. Today, do journalists always serve justice? Are they always against governmental power?
In the framework of the recent discussions for the funding of the media and their dependency from the government and the ensuing corruption, AEJ Greece condemns those journalists who are engaged in such offences that harm the independence and transparency of the media, two fundamental elements of a democratic polity. There must be strong institutions safeguarding free press and independent journalism. As Konstantinos Kalligas notes: “I am not interested in persona and parties I am interested in institutions”. The professional code of conduct of journalism should not be a theory but an everyday practice.
In relation to the recent TV spot of SYRIZA which targets all the media accusing all journalists as servants of various economic or political interests, AEJ Greece condemns all these practices form wherever they originate. The existence of certain journalists who do not respect their role, shall not stigmatize all journalists. Such general accusations discredit the whole profession of journalism. Journalists, in their majority, work usually under hard conditions for providing accurate information to citizens and, often, endanger their lives in war zones or in authoritarian regimes (i.e. Turkey) The persecution of journalists is a common practice always condemned by the Council of Europe.
AEJ Greece supports journalists acting independently serving the truth. We support especially research journalists who want to inform people objectively and in depth. Press is the fourth power and must be against the other there powers criticizing them. Journalists represent the public opinion to the politicians making them more efficient giving account for their actions or omissions. Journalism is, in essence, the voice of the people.
In this framework, AEJ Greece condemns any kind of dependency and corruption (economic or political) in the media and supports all independent voices in journalism across Europe. It condemns the persecutions of journalists and the attempts to manipulate freedom of Press. The members of AEJ Greece support actively the Association in accomplishing this task which is essential for democracy.