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    HomeOpinionsCypriot PerspectivePluralism is an unknown concept for CyBC

    Pluralism is an unknown concept for CyBC

    Where a State decides to set up a public broadcasting system, national legislation and practice must guarantee that the system provides a pluralistic service

    By George Koumoulli

     

     

    It goes without saying that in a democracy the public should have access via television and radio to impartial and accurate information and to a series of opinions and comments reflecting the diversity of political perceptions within the country. even those who question the way in which a state is organized, provided that they do so do not harm the republic itself.

    When a state decides to create a public broadcasting system, national legislation and practice must guarantee that the system provides a pluralistic service, especially when private channels, as is the case in Cyprus, serve the interests of the deep state and are therefore inherently anti-pluralism.

    Their news is filtered and shaped according to what is in the interest of the deep state – what to display and what not to. In this context, most of the time the positions of progressive people and their unconventional (or “revolutionary”) positions on the political problems of the country are eliminated by the so-called “valid and timely information”. Therefore, pluralism, which is identical to the democratic ideal of recognizing multiple political ideas and political groups with equal rights to exist and participate in the exodus, is not guaranteed.

     

     

     

     

    Because of these concerns, the role of CyBC, the state television, is critical, because it is our only hope for pluralism. CyBC’s journalism should be objective, aiming to help the public decide for themselves on an event, providing only the facts and then leaving the audience to interpret them on their own.

    It is with sadness that we note that over time CyBC has been an opponent of pluralism. Under Makarios, CyBC never called anyone who criticized Makarios’ policy. For Kyprianou, Tassos Papadopoulos, during his opposition to the Kyprianou, proclaimed that the acronym “CyBC” was in fact a “Kyprianou Radio Foundation”.

    It seems that the root of the evil is the fact that cyBC’s board of directors is appointed by the government in question and the members of the board of directors pay all their forces to protect it from any criticism. CyBC’s history is interspersed with many examples of anti-pluralistic slippage. The most recent one will be remembered by everyone: Fr. May it was revealed that with the instructions of a cyBC executive, the MP of EDEK Kostis Efstathiou was “cut” from the meridian TV show “From day to day”.

     

     

     

    But I will dwell on a more important event that made us all ashamed. Last year, Makarios Droussiotis, one of the most notable writers of political issues, released his book “The Gang” describing the corrupt system of power in Cyprus, starring Nicos Anastasiades. And while the revelations of the book made a bang to the Cypriot public and the book turned out to be a best-seller, the private channels completely ignored it for obvious reasons.

    However, in October 2021, a journalist of CyBC, in her honor, dared to invite Mr. Droussiotis to her show “With your Voice”. It was to be expected that the main theme of this interview would revolve around the book “The Gang.” In the end, however, Mr. Droussiotis’ appearance at CyBC was canceled. The journalist who invited him to CyBC projected the hilarious excuse that this was done “due to the absence of the producer of the show abroad”, while CyBC the Siberian excuse that Droussiotis’ hospitality was “completely alien to the spectrum of the subject matter of this particular show”.

    Two conflicting excuses confirm that there was an intervention from above to cancel the show. The message was clear: any journalist or political analyst who harshly criticizes the government is persona non grata at CyBC.

    CyBC’s lack of pluralism is not only manifested by interventions to frustrate the projection of unconventional ideas, political or political analysts. It also manifests itself in the a priori exclusion of minority views. For example, almost daily we hear from CyBC radio a theologian or “elder” who preaches how infallible Orthodoxy is.

     

     

     

    But CyBC will never invite, for example, a representative of Jehovah’s Witnesses or a homosexual or an atheist to hear from the public exactly what they stand for or their problems. Especially the atheists/agnostics who are estimated to make up at least 20% of the population.

    I wonder: if the two greatest philosophers of the 20th century, Bertrand Russel and Jean-Paul Sartre, lived in Cyprus, would CyBC exclude them from all its broadcasts because they were atheists? However, the elders or “saints” from a monastery or mountain with their picturesque prophecies, appear as distinguished guests in the programs of CyBC.

    It has been said a great deal that CyBC should be upgraded to BBC standards. That’s right! But, no matter how much regulation we have, if our culture is opposed to pluralism, we will never reach the BBC. The problem stems from education. While the ministers of education have Grivas as their idol and espouse the values of ELAM, what kind of democracy will they irrigate?

     

     

     

    *Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of CypriumNews.

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