Ethical Journalism Initative: National Conference, Thessaloniki

June 14, 2011 - June 16, 2011

Back to the campaign page

On the eve of a 24-hour strike to protest against a new round of austerity measures on 14 June, the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH) launched a two-day national conference on Ethical Journalism Initiative with the support of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and Article 19.
The conference focused on how journalists can play a part to improve reporting on migration and minority groups by upholding the highest journalism standarnds.

Over 60 Greek journalists and civil society representatives joined the debate, highlighting that the economic crisis has taken its toll on quality journalism in Greece and is affecting media’s capacity when reporting on migration and minority groups.

To read more about the debates taking place during the conference, please visit HERE to download the report.


The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is the largest group of journalists in Europe representing over 260.000 journalists across Europe and strives to defend the rights of journalists.

Article 19
is an international organisation that defends and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information all over the world.

Media Diversity Institute
(MDI) is an international organisation entirely devoted to working with the media in order to improve reporting on diversity issues which can cause disputes or conflicts at the local, national, regional or international level.

Conference Agenda



08.45 – 09.15 REGISTRATION

09.15 – 09.30 WELCOME ADDRESS

Christina Chaleplidou, Vice-President of ESIEMTH


George Petalotis, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson (via webcast)

09.45 - 11.00 The Ethical Journalism Initiative

Moderator: Yannis Kotsifos, ESIEMTH Executive Director

Key speakers:

Yuk Lan Wong, European Federation of Journalists

Milica Pesic. Media Diversity Institute

Sejal Parmar, Article 19


Natassa Bozini, board member of the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists’ Unions (POESY)

Hasan Badawi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Medieval History

The Journalistic word and the timeless human values”

Vasilis Soliopoulos, Journalist, ESIEMTH

Front pages and TV news: The aftermath of a murder”

11.00– 11.45 Journalists’ Unions and Journalism Ethics

Journalists provide their own perspective on issues of discrimination and examine the efficacy of the Journalism Code of Ethics.

Moderator: Anastasios Fokianides, ESIEMTH Secretary-General

Key speakers:

Evi Demiri, journalist, board member of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV)

Nikos Aslanides, member of the ESIEMTH Ethics Board

Pavlos Nerantzis, journalist, Director of ERT-3 Radio

11.45 – 12.15 COFFEE BREAK (Fourth Floor – ESIEMTH Terrace)

“The lands we left behind”

Showing unpublished photographs from the war fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. The material belongs to a refugee who now resides in Thessaloniki.

12.15 – 14.00 The European framework and the Greek reality

This section explores the various political, legal and institutional aspects of the European framework against discrimination, while it also showcases the most recent national developments in terms of government policy and institutions affecting media conduct.

Moderator: Stratis Mavraganis, ESIEMTH Legal Counsel

12.15-13.15 Key speakers:

Andreas Takis, Secretary General of Migration Policy, Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and E-government

Vasilis Karydis, Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights, Professor of Criminological Sciences and Immigration Policy, University of the Peloponnese

Nikos Paraskevopoulos, Dean of the Law Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Yianna Panagopoulou, First Vice-President, Thessaloniki Bar Association

Konstantinos Tsitselikis, Assistant Professor, University of Macedonia

Kalliopi Chainoglou UNESCO Chair of Intercultural Policy, Lecturer of International and European Institutions, University of Macedonia



Ioannis Manoledakis, Professor Emeritus at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens

Nicholas Kountouris, Political Scientist, PhD, Institut d'études politiques d’Aix-en Provence (France)

Ioanna Kostopoulou, student, Mass Media and Journalism Department

14.00 – 15.00 LUNCH

15.00 – 16.30 Immigration waves and journalism

This section opens the debate on the impact borne onto journalism by the massive emigration wave to Greece of recent years.

Moderator: Despina Syrri, Sociologist – researcher at the University of Macedonia

15.00-15.50 Key speakers:

Costis Papaioannou, President of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights

Antonis Spathis, Office of the UNHCR in Greece

George Tsiakalos, Professor, Department of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Vasilis Premidis, Journalist, city of Orestiada

Yannis Sidiropoulos, Journalist, city of Xanthi


This session will examine changes noted in multicultural education, refugee reception and cultural diversity, while it will also address the journalists’ stance in this shifting landscape.


Roula Tsokalidou: Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Evi Markou: Polydromo group for bilingualism and multiculturalism in education and society

Andromachi Besiri, Arsis Youth Support Group

Nikos Nikisianis, Antiracist Initiative

16.30 – 17.00 COFFEE BREAK

17.00 – 20.00 Human Rights : Flagrant violations and subtleties

This section features delegates of relevant organizations and individuals of various ethnicities who were introduced to the European environment in Greece. Concurrently, representatives of ethnic and religious groups who have a long-standing history in Greecepresent their own perspective on discrimination.

Moderator: Christos Zafiris, Vice-President of ESIEMTH’s Cultural Foundation

Key speakers:

Nikos Zaikos: Assistant Professor of International Law, University of Western Macedonia “Antisemitism in the Press: Legal dimensions”

Sami Karabougioukoglou, Journalist from the city of Komotini

Chripsime Charoutanian, Chief Editor of Azat Or, Armenian language daily newspaper published in Athens

Iris Hajdinaj, Secretary General - Association of Albanian Immigrants “Mother Tereza”

Roxanne Kostatziki, Attorney at Law

Eleni Diafotidou, Publisher of Empros newspaper in Xanthi

21.00 DINNER



14.00 – 14.30 BUFFET LUNCH (ESIEMTH Fourth Floor)

14.30-15.45 Journalists in Action: How we can work together

This section examines best practices adopted in other European countries and utilizes the experiences of numerous journalists, in order to arrive at more expansive initiatives and collaborations with international organizations and NGOs.

Moderator: Lazaros Chatzinakos, Journalist, ESIEMTH

Key speakers:

Takis Kampylis, Director General of «Athina 9,84» radio station

Filios Stagos, Director General of Municipal Enterprise of Information, Entertainment and Communication – Thessaloniki (TV100 and FM100)

Kaki Balli, Journalist, Aggelioforos newspaper

Panos Polyzoides, Journalist «Vima FM»

Yannis Boutselis, Attorney at Law, Journalist

15.45 – 17.00 New Media : The Internet challenge

In the new landscape being formed by the social media, we will seek the journalists’ input in addressing extremist content published on the Internet, perpetuating discrimination and racist points of view. The session also examines cases where the New Media shed light on instances of racist behaviours and resulted in political reactions.

Moderator: Vasilis Kontogoulidis, ESIEMTH Board Member

Key speakers:

Natassa Bozini, board member of the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists’ Unions (POESY)

Nikos Sotiriadis, President of ΕΡΤ-3

Nikos Moumouris, Journalist, director of

Takis Lainas, Journalist,

Andreas Panagopoulos, Journalist, Blogger

17.00 – 17.15 COFFEE BREAK

17.15 – 18.15 Southern Europe : Are there common journalistic answers ?

This section attempts to diagnose the impact borne onto Southern Europe by the subverted regimes in North Africa and the tension in the Middle East, coupled by the worsening economic crisis in Greece. The section explores the journalists’ level of knowledge and awareness for these issues.

Moderator: Pantelis Savidis, Journalist

Key speakers:

Ioannis Mazis, professor of Geopolitics, University of Athens

Phoebus Apostolopoulos, Geopolitical analyst

Aref Alobeid, PhD, Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University. Teacher at the Hellenic Army Academy.

18.15 – 19.15 Refugees tell their own stories

Refugees unfold their stories of their travel to Greece and present their own picture of Europe and its structures.

Key Speakers:

Antonis Spathis, Office of the UNHCR in Greece

Efi Gelastopoulou , Social worker, Greek Council for Refugees, Thessaloniki Bureau

George Daphnis, Attorney at Law, Greek Council for Refugees


This session will give the opportunity to all the participants to contribute to the conference with their comments and recommendations.

The working languages of the conference are Greek and English (with simultaneous interpretation).

This conference is hosted by the Journalists' Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers and with the financial support from the European Union's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.

Attached documents

Report - Thessaloniki.pdf