Thursday, 3 June 2010

Greek journalists: as absurd as you can get

Greece's journalists have been on strike today, so there's been no newspapers and no TV news bulletins. The sky could have fallen in on the country or the Turks invaded and we wouldn't know about it. We don't even know about the strike – how many supported it, how it was manifested and so on. It baffles me that Greek journalists are striking, what this is supposed to achieve. According to Panos Sombolos, leader of the journalists' union, his members are 'fighting so that the anti-popular and anti-social security measures of the government do not pass'; but it seems to me that only in Greece have journalists been identified as 'fighters' on behalf of the 'people' and only in Greece has it been determined that this 'fight' is carried out not by writing, reporting and broadcasting, but by avoiding work and marching in the streets. In fact, the journalists' strike is gratuitous. I don't even know if the journalists want to strike, if there's been any sort of ballot or if the proud members of the Fourth Estate just go along like sheep with what their union bosses decide on their behalf. It's an entirely absurd situation, and one which reveals the wider absurdities that plague Greek society and from which, evidently, there is no escape.

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