Thursday, February 2, 2012

“United, we can succeed.”

What is the relationship between the media and cultural security?  How far does the media highlight or obscure, and to what end?  How seriously must we take media insinuations and data culled from web logs - when it comes to evaluating news related to cultural security?  How are our cultural security perceptions influenced by media reports?
On 29 January, the NY Times reported that Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos seemed to have overcome some of the objections from Socialist predecessor George Papandreou, conservative leader Antonis Samaras and right-wing leader Georgios Karatzaferis, against the next round of austerity measures proposed by the troika.  Kathimerini, one of Greece’s leading papers, reported on the “absolute convergence” among the leaders regarding structural reforms necessary to keep Greece afloat.  The articles cited three disagreements with the troika’s proposed measures:  1. Cuts in private sector salaries; 2. Decrease of the minimum wage; and 3. Increase in European oversight of Greece’s budget.  PM Papademos heads to Brussels noting, “We are fighting hard together to secure the country’s position in Europe and the euro, and the community of developed countries.  United, we can succeed.”
But this was not Kathimerini’s number one story on its e-English edition.  Also dated 29 January, Kathimerini’s number one “Recent News” was that PAOK beat AEK, 2-0 to go to the third place among Greek football teams, spots one and two held by Panathinaikos and Olympiakos respectively.
I’m hard pressed to justify the importance of football over the drum roll of a nation creeping towards bankruptcy.  Shouldn’t Papademos’ talks with Greek leaders and his impending trip to Brussels have been the number one story on Greek minds?  (Just in case you’re wondering, the most popular story on the Greek edition of Kathimerini was the VAT raise in France.)
What does this mean and how does it touch upon and affect cultural security in Greece?
a. Greeks use sports and French news to distract themselves from their own issues and troubles
b. Greeks care little for their crisis because they’re either apathetic or defeated by the current state of affairs; Greeks realize that caring doesn’t mean a difference will be effected… so what’s the point?
c. Greeks care a whole lot but their media doesn’t adequately reflect it
d. Most Greeks – like most French, English, or Americans – are relatively unconcerned with political affairs enough to pore over the global crisis:  they’re too busy hosting dinners or working late shifts to do more than glance at sports scores
e. These papers target foreigners or people untouched by Greece’s deteriorating state of affairs; in reality, there is another forum that speaks to those affected and upset by these issues
What other options are out there?
Originally posted by Yasmeen Hussain on CulturalSecurity.net.

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