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Tuesday, September 27, 2005 


InERTia Headquarters

Every time I drive past the ERT (Greece's national broadcaster) headquarters on Mesogeion Avenue, I get irritated. It's just another reminder to me of taxpayers' money wasted. For a country with a population of just under 11 million people, how is it that ERT can justify having 3,500 employees. What do they all do there? All the documentaries on ERT are usually from the BBC, the History Channel or A&E biographies from the US. Their website is a farce as far as news content is concerned. One of the lead stories as I write this blog is a Desperate Housewives plug for NET. The rest of the content is either fluff writing geared towards vapid readers or quasi-journalism written telegram style unless, of course, it's a sports story. Those get at least 7 or 8 paragraphs each. I'd review ERT radio broadcasts, but why bother? I don't know anyone who's ever listened to them. Even if you factor in the 5.5 million or so Greek diaspora, the number of ERT employees is still unjustified as far as I'm concerned.

By comparison, the BBC who employ 27,632 people worldwide, broadcasts in over 40 languages, publishes 40 magazines, has 2 nationwide channels, 24 hour global news channel, has one of the best news websites on the internet and is heard or watched in probably every single country on the planet. Considering the global reach of the BBC, the quantity and quality of programming they produce...27,632 employees doesn't seem enough.

Maybe the solution is to give these employees some real work to do rather than badly translate touchy-feely 'news' feeds from Reuters or AP. It's about time I saw some DVDs show up in our stores with "ERT" stamped on the bottom rather than BBC or A&E. Or maybe I've got it all wrong. I thought ERT was an acronym for Elliniki Radio Television when it's actually the abbreviated form of the word inertia.

So I take it your not buying into this whole "το αγαπημένο μου της ΕΡΤ" campaign they've got going on at the moment! :-)


Well, I only like NET because I like their news better than the other Greek alternatives, AND because they have shown The West Wing, Andromeda, and Matlock for my late night viewing fare.

Still, you are right. We could get some quality programming out of them. But I think that is an oxymoron in Greek.

I don't think I could live in Greece if it wasn't for Τρίτο Πρόγραμμα, although that makes me sound like a radio snob. I don't have a TV, and I suppose that makes me sound like a radio snob too.

Your post reminds me of "making of" documentary I was watching about the British comedy series, The Office. They were saying that there were plenty of employees at the BBC who were incompetent, and yet they never lost their jobs because there was no competition. They compared it to kangaroos surviving so long in Australia simply because there was no animal around that was interested in hunting it.

I certainly don't advocate the dismantling of ERT since as Mel says, we'd be stuck with the tabloid tv private channels. I just want them to produce more Greek related programming and better published news content. God forbid Greece ends up with more coffee klatch junk tv.

Eight years later and they listened to you and closed it

Ten years later and they re-open it!!


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