I have to wonder, whenever my husband watches the 8pm news on Alpha every night, whether or not Journalism degrees are possible at Greek universities. I suppose Alpha is the lesser of the 5 evils - the networks here that have news on at 8pm. News here is never truly local. Most of the stories concern Athens, a few concern Thessaloniki, and there are trickles from various bucolic locales all over Greece. Stories from the U.S. or elsewhere in the world make the news if they are dramatic enough, or freaky enough, and of course you get regular accountings of E.U. activities, especially those that involve Greece in some way.
Every story - whether it is about the Cypriot plane crash, Katrina's devastation, or rising produce prices, has the same dramatic music. And I mean dramatic. If you aren't paying attention to the news at all, you might think something tragic happened, and you turn and look, and it is some old woman complaining about some inane thing in her neighborhood. For example, right now, I heard some tragic music, and they are doing a story about "toilet candy", candy that comes in a small plastic toilet. "Oh, it isn't suitable for children! It is horrifying! How can they allow such a thing!" Yea, ok. Not only that, but they have a panel of journalists, politicians, whoever the hell they are, TALKING about this toilet candy. Yes, it definitely needs to take up 10 minutes of the news.
Which leads me to another fun and exciting part of Greek news - the talking heads. Yes, for any subject, no matter how insipid, they may or may not have a panel of speakers arguing heatedly over the topic at hand. Sure, I've enjoyed panel shows on American news networks, but not about ridiculous subjects (like toilet candy).
And the absolute best part of Greek news? The pictures they show in the background of some unrelated incident while they talk about something new. Yes, they could be showing an automobile accident from 3 years ago while talking about an accident that happened today. What an incredibly professional thing to do! They don't even always label it "archived footage" either.
I also have to say that I am not certain there is a lot of fact checking in Greek journalism. Not that I fact-checked this fact. But they did a story once, claiming there was something posted on a website, and I didn't believe it, and went to that website right as the news story was going on, and didn't find it. I combed the website looking for it to no avail. Sometimes I think they take whatever they first hear from whatever news agency they hear it from and report it as news (live and exclusive news, at that!). They'll steal a video feed from CNN or SkyNews and even though it still clearly says CNN or SkyNews on it, the Greek channel will superimpose their station name over the video.
And the absolute worst thing about Greek news - weather is an afterthought. It is no secret that I am a weather junkie. It has become even more important to stay abreast of the weather since I have to hang clothes outside to dry. But I just have to have my weather. Not only do I have to have my weather, I need to have nice radar and satellite images. I don't get that anymore. I have to go the local Nashville news channel sites to live vicariously through their radar images.
At least the Greek Public stations have some semi-decent news. I catch the news on NET every night before Andromeda comes on. It comes across as more professional and not very dramatic.
Still, it wouldn't hurt them to get us some local radar. I just need a nightly fix!