Constructive Journalism in Greece: Weathering Many Storms

Speaker: Michael Nevradakis

Moderator: Christian Christensen


December 10th, 2020, 16:55-17:25 CET


Written by Yulia Chervotkina


Key words: Solutions Journalism, Media, News, COVID


Short annotation, summary

The attitude of Greeks towards mass and social media as sources of news is changing; fewer people trust them now. This provides fertile soil for alternative media to gradually gain public attention. During this session, Dr Nevradakis discusses the positive and negative aspects of development of the solutions journalism project 'Orthos Logos'.


The project or approach to be discussed in the session

Orthos Logos is the first Greek solutions journalism startup.

  • It focuses on presenting news in a positive nature accompanied by solutions. All the presented data is based on scientific research and consultations with academics, economists and scientists.

  • What is more, Orthos Logos analyses actions that have already been implemented somewhere in the world. "We do not avoid problems. We want to show that for every problem that exists, there is a possible solution."

Evidence of impact

  • There is little trust for traditional media in Greece – only 28% of people trust the news and only 30% of people reported trusting the outlets they prefer to utilise. Against that backdrop, Orthos Logos is positioned as an alternative news channel with a different business model.

  • In contrast in Greece, there is a decline in trust for social media as a source of news. It illustrates that people are becoming tired of sensationalized and questionable news sources. It is where Orthos Logos can benefit: with their anti-crisis measures they managed to reach a larger audience.

Limitations, risks of the approach provided by the speaker

  • They want to be completely independent of any commercial interests and they do not advertise on their website. Instead, they have to rely on their subscribers who support the project through crowdfunding/subscription.

  • The website does not have an English version and it makes it impossible to attract non-Greek speakers and thus increase the number of subscribers.

  • The pandemic led to the lockdown and the decrease in economic activity which altogether made it challenging to attract new subscribers. Moreover, Dr Nevradakis points out that there is no 'subscription culture' in Greece and employees of Orthos Logos had to come up with anti-epidemic measures.

Takeaways

  • Solutions journalism implies suggesting solutions backed by reliable data.

  • In recent years, the trust for the mainstream media had been declining but due to the pandemic, the situation changed; people were bombarded with tonnes of negative information and they turned to professionals.

Other considerations

Orthos Logos is planning to attract students for internships to help them gain real experience in solutions journalism. Dr Nevradakis hopes it will help build the foundation towards the future even if there might be some problems on a short-term basis.