Last Friday, Ta Nea made a political, moral and emotional choice. The newspaper devoted its front and back page to the victims of the deadly fire in Mati.
The two-page spread listed the names and ages of the dead, accompanied by the title ‘94 souls seek vindication’. It also noted that, “Some want to persuade Greek society that these people fell victim to an unavoidable natural disaster.”
This choice was not to the liking of certain people that are close to or surrounding the ruling party, who said it was miserable, exploitative, and debased.
That is their right. We obviously have a different view of journalism than those who at one time called their opponents Nazi collaborators, and today praise the ruling coalition of Tsipras and Kammenos.
Our approach and conviction, just as that of all creditable newspapers in the world, is that we publish the truth, regardless of the name and identity of the publisher. We check power, of whatever stripe.
We do not offer an accounting to prime ministerial advisors or to commissars. Our sole judge is our readership.
The par excellence disseminators of fake news have no right to talk about yellow journalism. The apologists of cynicism, insensitivity, and vulgarity cannot speak about ethics.
Those who attempted to shift the blame for the disaster onto the dead should think twice before charging the newspaper that wanted to honour their memory of exploitation.
In a democracy, criticism is not a concession, but rather a right. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
Alas, it is too late for the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government to understand this.