Advertising And Media


     The evolution of the mass media is very interesting subject of study that
presents variations according to different circumstances. One of these is the
place where this evolution takes place. Because media as institutions are part
of society, are influenced from any particular characteristic that each society
has. In the case of Greece, it's really interesting to see how the evolution of
a medium like radio, has been affected by the particular characteristics of

Greek society and more specifically by Greek politics. The particularity of the

Greek case, as Papathanassopoulos points up, is that the Greek state is hyper
centralized because of the dictatorial periods that Greece has passed through.

Greek broadcasting has been developed under dictatorships. Both radio and
television were subject of military violation, thus formulating a peculiar
character a State broadcasting. What I will attempt to show in this project is
that this peculiar character of state broadcasting influenced the overall
evolution of radio, which lead it to be a medium with different types of
programming formats. Through the unplanned liberalization of the medium from the
public monopoly medium we lead to privately owned format radio. I will attempt
to show, describe and analyze this evolution; how from a situation of public
broadcasting has developed towards a commercial medium with different types of
programming. The interesting thing for the case of Greece is that is showing us
how politics in the long run influence particular characteristics of a medium
such as its programming. It is really interesting to see how most of the social
sectors of the society are in favor of the decentralization of the media. This
proves the reason why the liberalization of the Greek radio was so favored from
the Greek society and actually happened so fast in a very short time. Because
the Greek society is so hyper centralized, when people realized that radio was
to be decentralized, radio became very popular. As Ed Hollander explains;
decentralization of the media is always welcomed by the majority of the people
because many of their interests can be satisfied. For cultural and social
organizations, decentralization is a method to promote citizen participation in
the mass media. For media personnel is a means of achieving more democratic
control of the media. For the political parties, decentralization is a way to
gain an instrument to oppose government policy. Finally, decentralization is a
way for those in favor of commercial broadcasting to achieve profit. That is, as

I will try to show, what happened with the case of the Greek radio. All the
people who were in favor of decentralized radio broadcasting show the
liberalization of the medium as a chance to satisfy their interests and in that
way the conflict of different interests during the evolution of radio influence
the overall process of the medium up to its specialization. Keeping in mind that
in the last 50 years the only legal broadcast enterprises belonged to (or were
controlled directly by) the state of Greece, I will attempt to refer to
milestone events which affected the developments so far and which will most
certainly determine developments in the years to come. I will attempt to present
the circumstances that took place, in order for radio to become private. I will
show how Radio changed from a medium of general interest (belonging to the
public sector) to a privately owned medium with specific formats of programming
and I will draw some conclusions. Although somebody could argue that this is
most a descriptive study, the separate reference to aspects of this evolution
that are made give us the possibility to understand deeper the relation between
the cause and the final conclusion that prove my hypothesis; that the Greek
politics was in the long run the cause for Greek radio to become a medium with
different formats. The sources I use, although they cover many areas of radio
broadcasting, justify the importance of specific parts of the evolution of the

Greek radio that I refer to. The reference to other countries help us see from a
more critical aspect the evolution of the Greek radio. 2. The transition from
public to private radio The article 15 of the Greek constitution and the law 230
of 1975 are an example of the direct control that the state of Greece had upon
radio and television; there was a state monopoly. This state monopoly was also
justified by the terms of the limited radio spectrum and the centralized
character of the state (Papathanassopoulos 1989). Another term of justification
was that the Greek market would not be able to support private and state media.

The article 15 was very ambivalent, leaving room for arbitrary interpretation by
each government, as it talked of State direct control over Radio and Television
which -depending on the occasion- could be translated either in State's
exclusive right to broadcast, or State's obligation to regulate Broadcasting. As

P. Daltoglou points up, the state by using the term "direct state
control" can define whether or not, and under what circumstances, private
concerns could be allowed to be broadcast. Compared to the old legislation, the

New Law (1730 of 1987) was just a repetition of the permanent and obsolete
articles which governed Radio and TV up to that date, concerning administrative
organization. The new law also introduced some interesting regulations which
could secure the functioning of the public broadcast media in order to operate
independently of the government and secure the objectivity of their programs.

The final and more interesting point of this law introduced some innovations in
the area of local radio and satellite TV. The law guarantees legal entity to the
pirate radio stations and promotes their development. Before that law only the
local authorities were acknowledged with the right of operation local radio
stations through a decision of the Ministry of Presidency and Communications. At
the beginning this privilege was given without any authorization from the

Constitution but afterwards was confirmed by the article 213 of the New Law.

With this law there is the possibility of the foundation of local municipal
radio stations. But even if the operation of the municipal stations was legally
secured, the establishment of the private local radio didn't yet have any
legislative coverage. As E. Venizelos notes, the most amateur illegal (until
then) efforts expressed pure hobbyist interests without any obvious political
stands. In that way the legislator had to consider the current tendencies of
radio broadcasting and legislate accordingly. The New Law presents entailed
standardization of the local radio. The monopoly of the public media can be
broken within certain limits that the legislation defines and in accordance with
the Constitution, provided that the legal and technical standards will be kept
based on the new law. "Local radio" refers to the whole of the local
radio stations which are established and operate aligned with the license of the

Minister of Presidency of the Government. All the stations broadcast from 87,5
to 107,7 MHz in FM band. The basic principle of "Locality" in the

Local Radio Station, states that it is its local character which determines the
content of its program. In France for example, the local radio holds its
identity as it is related strongly to the local community. The constant and
systematic striving for true local communication, the integration of radio as a
tool in the area serviced and the adaptation of the program to local life in all
its aspects represent the main dimensions of the character of the Local Radio (Hamelin

1989). Another principle of the "Locality" of a radio station is also
the local transmission (limited coverage). Every station has its own geographic
range of transmission and its own specific district. According to the law there
is not a specific number of frequencies available for every district. According
to the article 24 of the new law the licenses are given after a proposal of a
newly formed "Commission of Local Radio" to Greek citizens. However no
more than one license is granted to the same person. According to the
constitution there are two types of licenses, the first one is only for
professional (profit seeking enterprise) use and the second one is amateur
(non-profit). The stations which have the second type of licenses can transmit
only recreational and educational programs and not advertisements.

Bibliography

15. Rao, G. (1991). Italy: In the throes of change. Intermedia. London:

International Institute of Communications. March/April 1991. Volume 19. No. 2.

The reasons that lead to the broadcasting Act of 1990 in Italy. The political
background that create this reform in the Italian media affairs. The effects of
this broadcasting Act on the current (1991) situation of broadcasting in Italy
and particularly the effects that had on RAI.